Dumping (Japan and United States)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th June 1972.

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Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West 12:00 am, 26th June 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in the investigation of the question of dumping of industrial products in the United Kingdom by Japan and the United States of America.

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

We are in close touch with British industry on a number of cases involving imports from these countries but none is presently the subject of formal anti-dumping investigation.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this problem has existed for a very long time and that some of us have made representations and have brought along deputations to the Ministry concerning the electronics industry, which happens to be my own interest? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware, further, that there is a prima facie case to show that American firms are using cheap labour subsidiaries in the Far East to dump on to the British market electronic components with which we cannot compete and that this has resulted in one closure in my constituency and, I am sure, others in different parts of the country? Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to remedy this very unsatisfactory situation?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

The hon. Gentleman is quite right, of course. There has been discussions with me, and with other Ministers in my Department, about these problems. However, none of the industries has yet presented a formal application for anti-dumping action supported by prima facie evidence of materially injurious dumping, so that we cannot take action in the way that the hon. Gentleman suggests. My right hon. Friend spoke about some of these matters in Japan when he was there recently.

Photo of Peter Tapsell Peter Tapsell , Horncastle

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that in the case of Japan, while there are immense opportunities for increasing bilateral trade between us to the mutual benefit of both countries, a great deal depends on the genuine determination by the Japanese at all levels to ensure that this is trade from which both parties can benefit equally?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

When my right hon. Friend was in Japan he made that clear to both industry and Ministers, there and the situation is being reviewed in September.

Photo of Mr Edward Bishop Mr Edward Bishop , Newark

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are thousands of workers in this country in the ball bearing industry whose jobs are at risk as a result of unfair Japanese competition and that repeated suggestions have been made for anti-dumping legislation, import quotas, and aid to the industry itself, as well as for safeguards against the Japanese getting a base here in order to compete unfairly with us in the Common Market? Is not it time that the Government took action, instead of waiting till September to see what replies are forthcoming? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware, further, that in respect of the ball bearing industry, I am much too courteous to say that his replies so far have had little bearing on the problem?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

The hon. Gentleman appears to have forgotten that the Question is about anti-dumping. My answer to the hon. Gentleman is the same as my answer to the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), that the industry has not presented any formal application. What my right hon. Friend did in Japan was to discuss matters on the broader basis of restricting excessive exports from Japan to this country.