Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 23rd November 1992.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine President of the Board of Trade 3:30 pm, 23rd November 1992

My hon. Friend raises a most important issue. The position of the textile industry is especially important in the GATT round, because the multi-fibre arrangement is designed to be phased out and replaced as GATT arrangements come in place. The position of the United Kingdom is clear: we are determined to ensure as best we can, with all the energies that we possess, the interests of the United Kingdom textile industry. The House will be glad to know that in the draft GATT agreement there are provisions for a transitional period of 10 years. The agreement offers better protection, for example, for intellectual property rights, improved GATT rules against unfair or disruptive trade and the prospects of greater access to other markets. I have in mind especially the high tariffs on textiles that are maintained by the United States and certain developing countries, which would be beneficially affected downwards.