HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc994-5W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how the Export Credits Guarantee Department's financial support for British industry complies with the Government's policy of world trade negotiation for the elimination of subsidies; and if she will make a statement. [60322]

Ms Hewitt

The basis on which ECGD provides support is consistent with multilateral trade agreements such as the OECD Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits. The arrangement, which has been adopted into EU law by means of a Council Decision, provides a framework regulating, inter alia, credit terms, risk premium, officially supported interest rates and tied aid. Such support is consistent with the Government's policy in WTO negotiations of seeking to eliminate trade distorting subsidies on a multilateral basis.

Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how she proposes to achieve the phasing out of subsidies by the Export Credits Guarantee Department. [60514]

Ms Hewitt

A study is currently being carried out by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) to assess the overall contribution that ECGD makes to the UK economy. This work will look at both the potential resource cost to the Government of the use of its balance sheet in providing export credit support and the economic benefits to the UK that accrue through the public provision of export credits to UK industry. The results of the NERA report will be used to develop the policies needed to maximize the benefits to the UK economy of ECGD's activities.

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