Australian PM rules out retaliation to US lamb action

By Boyd Champness

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister John Howard has ruled out any trade retaliation against imported United States products if the USA decides to impose tariffs and quotas on Australian lamb.

Mr Howard, who telephoned US President Bill Clinton personally about the matter, said the President was fully aware of the impact tariffs or quotas would have on Australias lamb industry.

Mr Clinton was expected to hand down his decision on whether he would impose tariffs to protect US sheep farmers earlier this month.

However, the delay, which was initially seen as bad news, has now buoyed industry leaders. They believe Mr Clinton is loath to introduce further protection on the eve of World Trade Organisation talks in Seattle at the end of the year.

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