HC Deb 12 November 1991 vol 198 c458W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he intends to make to Japan to abolish the quota system that they place on imports of dressed leather; and what other action he proposes to take in this area.

Mr. Redwood

[holding answer 11 November 1991]: Following a complaint to the GATT by the EC Commission and the USA, the Japanese Government replaced their quotas on imports of dressed leather and leather footwear with a 60 per cent. rate of import duty with effect from 1 April 1986. Lower rates, between 20 per cent. and 27 per cent. are applied to limited quantities of these products.

The British Government and the European Commission have taken every opportunity to press the Japanese Government to reduce these unacceptably high levels of import duty and substantially increase the quantities admitted at the lower rates. They will continue to do so, both bilaterally and in the GATT Uruguay round negotiations. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will certainly raise this problem with the newly-appointed MITI Minister, as he did with his predecessor.