PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11357

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP PRIME REGIONAL TELEVISION ADDRESS Subject: Lamb industry

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 02/08/1999

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 11357

E&OE..................

Good evening. We all know that Australia's farmers are just about

the most efficient and productive in the world - and don't require

subsidies to compete overseas. That's why all Australians have every

right to be deeply angered at the US decision to slap heavy tariffs

on our lamb exports into America.

It has been the can-do attitude of Australian farmers that has created

a market for Australian lamb in the United States without any government

subsidies. When a group of us work hard enough and smart enough to

take on the strongest country in the world only to be punished for

our success, my Government will respond with all means at its disposal.

I expressed our anger and disappointment personally to President Clinton.

I told him that there is no justice in his decision. Our trading partners

can't preach about opening up other markets when they are slamming

the door on Australian lamb producers. I told the President that this

decision helps no one. Consumers in the US will pay higher prices.

American lamb producers will be just as inefficient and Australian

farmers will be slugged for producing a better product.

The Government will stand by Australian lamb producers. We will cut

their costs by effectively cutting in half the transaction levy now

applying to lamb sold in Australia. This arrangement will be for two

years.

We will also establish a Lamb Industry Development Programme worth

up to $3 million per year. This programme will provide grants for

developing infrastructure, building demand for lamb and further boosting

industry productivity and innovation.

On top of this we will take this issue up with the international trade

umpire, the World Trade Organisation.

The Government will not let Australia's farmers down. We will continue

to argue for access to international markets so that the best efforts

and cleverness of Australian farmers can be turned to our national

advantage. Good night.

[ENDS]

Transcript 11357