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Barshefsky Says Lamb Decision Soon

US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky has told the US House Agriculture Committee that the decision was long overdue on imposing restrictions on Australian and New Zealand lamb imports.

The US International Trade Commission asked for restrictions as they say that low-priced imports from Australia and New Zealand were damaging the domestic lamb industry. President Bill Clinton was set to make a decision by June 4. Intense lobbying from both sides has been underway for months

Ms Barshefsky said that an announcement should come in the not-too-distant future. While she said that both Australia and New Zealand strongly objected to the imposition of any rejections, the administration had to think carefully through the remedy options and look out for the interests of American producers, because of the ITC decision.

The US Trade Representative said the goal was to rebuild the local industry and any remedy should not be more restrictive than accomplishing that goal.

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