Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-19-Speech-1-099"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, I am pleased that you have made yourself available today, Mr Potočnik. Commissioner Mandelson, we note, has once again opted to travel to some important conference in another part of the world instead of discussing key issues for European industry policy with us in Parliament. Imagine my delight, then, at hearing you present the subject far better and with far greater clarity and vision than our Trade Commissioner could ever have done. I am very pleased with the outcome of our deliberations in committee, for I am afraid that the rapporteur, in his original draft, for all the good points he made about the developing countries, entirely lost sight of the interests of European industry. In the Committee on International Trade we inserted a new first part of the report dealing with the interests of our industry policy. The nature of those interests, indeed, has become crystal-clear. We must focus sharply on securing the supply of raw materials to European industry. As the Commissioner rightly said, we are experiencing major difficulties in this respect. In the WTO framework we urgently need better rules designed to outlaw, as far as possible, trade-distorting measures such as export duties. We need free access to raw materials in the world market. It is intolerable that countries such as China should misuse raw materials as a political tool. We must do everything possible, not only in multilateral negotiations but also in our bilateral negotiations, to safeguard genuine open access to markets in raw materials. The fact that the Commission gave way in the talks on Ukraine’s accession to the WTO and accepted a degree of leeway for the imposition of export duties is intolerable and sets a bad example. Our acceptance of dual pricing in connection with Saudi Arabia’s accession to the WTO, an arrangement that has caused severe difficulties for our European petrochemical industry, was also intolerable. Nor am I very hopeful when I see what is happening at the present time with regard to Russia’s accession to the WTO, and I would like the Commission to take great care to ensure that no more trade-distorting measures are introduced. May I reiterate my sincere thanks to all my fellow committee members for this report. I hope that we do not change it too much in tomorrow’s plenary vote."@en1

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