13 October 1999
Australia seeks WTO lamb solution

AUSTRALIA is planning to resolve its dispute with the USA over tariffs on lamb imports at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement panel.

It said it was making the move after failing to make any headway in direct negotiations with the USA.

New Zealand, which is also one of the largest lamb exporters to the US, is also expected to announce plans to take its case to the WTO.

Bill Clinton, US president, decided in July to impose tariffs on Australian lamb imports following domestic political pressure.

The tariffs established quotas limiting lamb imports and set a 9% tariff on existing import with a graduated system of “supertariffs” for imports above those levels.

Australias share of the US market had reached about 15% prior to the imposition of tariffs. Exports were growing at 12% annually.