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TITLE: AUSTRALIA ECONOMIC POLICY AND TRADE PRACTICES                            
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                            
                            
                            
                            
                            AUSTRALIA

                     Key Economic Indicators
     (Billions of Australian dollars, unless otherwise noted)

                                  1991      1992      1993 /1

Income, Production,
 and Employment

Real GDP (1989-90 prices) /2      367.2     373.8     383.9
Real GDP Growth (percent)          -0.9       1.8       2.7
GDP (at current prices)           379.2     392.2     403.6
By sector:
  Agriculture                      11.0      15.7      16.0
  Energy and Water                 12.2      12.1      12.4
  Manufacturing                    51.4      52.3      54.5
  Construction                     29.3      25.2      25.9
  Ownership of Dwellings           32.1      36.3      37.2
  Finance, Property and
   Business Services               42.4      44.9      45.0
  Other Services                   58.3      60.0      60.7
  General Government                7.0       8.7       8.8
Net Exports of
 Goods and Services                 2.5      -0.9      -3.5
Real Per Capita GDP  (A$ 000's)    21.3      21.4      21.6
Labor Force (000's)               8,536     8,623     8,645
Unemployment Rate (percent)         9.7      10.8      10.9


Money and Prices
 (annual percentage growth)

Money Supply (Ml) (year end)       11.3      20.6      11.8
Base Interest Rate (year end)     -28.6     -30.6     -16.8
Personal Savings Ratio            -14.8       6.2     -31.9
Retail Price Index                  1.7       2.1       3.2
Consumer Price Index                1.5       1.0       2.7
Exchange rate (US$/A$)            0.779     0.740     0.685
 - Percentage Change               -8.5      -5.0      -7.4


Balance of Payments and Trade

Total Exports FOB  /3              53.8      58.4      61.0
  Exports to U.S.                   5.4       5.1       4.7
Total Imports CIF                  49.7      55.5      61.9
  Imports from U.S.                11.9      12.4      13.1
Aid from U.S.                       0         0         0
Aid from Other Countries            0         0         0
Gross External Public Debt         80.0      86.8      89.0
Debt Service Payments (paid)       15.9      13.8      11.8
Gold and FOREX Reserves            24.6      19.1      20.6
Current Account Balance           -12.8     -14.0     -16.0
  Trade Balance with U.S.          -6.5      -7.3      -8.4


Notes:

1/  1993 Figures are all estimates based on available monthly
    and quarterly data in September 1993.
2/  GDP at factor cost for base year indicated (1985 data
    superseded).
3/  Trade data recorded on a foreign trade basis-- as opposed
    to those recorded on a balance of payments basis.



1.  General Policy Framework

    Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1993 was
estimated to be 403.3 billion Australian dollars.  Real GDP is
estimated to have, grown by 2.7 percent, a substantial
improvement from 1992's 1.8 percent.  Nevertheless, the impact
of the recession which began during the third quarter of 1989
and ended in 1991 continued to be felt.  Unemployment hovered
around the 11-percent mark during 1993.

    U.S. economic interests in Australia are substantial,
including direct investment worth approximately US$ 5.9 billion
and a bilateral trade surplus of approximately US$ 5 billion.

    Although Australia is the size of the contiguous United
States, its domestic market is limited by a small population
(17.7 million people).  The production of agricultural
commodities and primary products is an important component of
the economy.  Australia leads the world in wool production; is
a significant supplier of wheat, barley, dairy produce, meat,
sugar, and fruit; and, is a leading exporter of coal, minerals
and metals, particularly iron ore, gold, alumina, and
aluminum.  Export earnings are not well diversified.  In 1992,
primary and agricultural products accounted for 62 percent of
the total value of goods and services exports.

    To increase Australia's international competitiveness, the
government has continued its longstanding effort to reduce
protective trade barriers and deregulate large segments of the
economy.  Privatization of government services at both the
federal level (airlines, banks, telecommunications) and state
level (water treatment, transportation, electricity, banks) is
being pursued.  The 1993 highlight was the sale of 25 percent
of Qantas Airlines to British Airways, and the announcement of
the intention to sell off the remainder of the carrier to the
public in 1994.  Trade reforms begun in June 1988 resulted in
an end to import quotas on all but textiles, clothing, and
footwear, and lower tariffs on most imports.  Although the
20-percent preference given by the federal government to
Australian and New Zealand firms bidding on government
contracts was abolished November 1, 1989, and civil offsets in
December 1992, some state and territory governments continue to
apply preferences in their contracts.

    Given the slow pace of recovery from the recession, and
very low (approximately 2 percent) inflation, the Australian
government increased both fiscal and monetary stimulus in
1993.  Official government interest rates were lowered from a
high of 18 percent in early 1990 to 4.5 percent in mid-1993. 
The money supply is now totally controlled through an
open-market trading system of nine dealers who act as a conduit
between the Reserve Bank and the financial system. 
Transactions may involve purchases, sales, or trade in
repurchase agreements of short-term Treasury securities. 
Depending on liquidity conditions, the Reserve Bank may bypass
dealers and buy or sell short-term Treasury Notes directly with
banks on a cash basis.  Banks do not normally hold liquid
deposits of any size with the Reserve Bank.  Instead, they hold
call-funds with the authorized dealers.  If a bank needs cash
on a given day, it either borrows from other banks or withdraws
funds it has on deposit with the dealers.  Under the above
money supply control system, foreign exchange flows and
government deficits and credits have only limited impact on the
money supply.

    For the second consecutive year, the federal government ran
a budget deficit in Australian fiscal year (AFY) 1992/93.  The
deficit, 14.5 billion Australian dollars (A$), equalled 3.6
percent of GDP, up from A$9.3 billion (or 2.4 percent of GDP)
the year before.  The deficit is projected to increase to 3.8
percent of GDP by the end of the current Australian fiscal year
(i.e., June 30, 1994).  Public sector borrowing covered the
deficit.  Borrowing took the form of treasury notes (A$1.7
billion), treasury bonds (A$14.2 billion), and a drawdown of
A$233 million in cash.  Foreign currency debt fell by A$743
million.  In AFY 1993/94 new debt issues totaling at least A$15
billion will have to be made to cover the projected budget
deficit.

    The challenge the government will face in 1994 is to return
the economy to a moderately high growth path without causing a
massive increase in the current account deficit.  Most
economists believe that GDP must grow by at least four percent
per year in order to bring unemployment down substantially. 
The problem is that the importation of capital goods needed to
fuel that level of growth, combined with a recovery-inspired
increase in consumer goods imports, could well push the current
account deficit above its already high level (A$16 billion for
1993), and cause additional depreciation of the Australian
dollar.


2.  Exchange Rate Policies

    Australian dollar exchange rates are determined by
international currency markets.  Official policy is not to
defend any particular exchange rate level.  In practice,
however, the Reserve Bank is active in "smoothing and testing"
foreign exchange rates in order to provide a generally stable
environment for fundamental economic adjustment policies.

    Australia does not have major foreign exchange controls
beyond requiring Reserve Bank approval if more than A$5,000 in
cash is to be taken out of Australia at one time, or A$50,000
in any form in one year.  The purpose of this requirement is to
control tax evasion and money laundering.  If the Reserve Bank
is satisfied that there are no liens against the money,
authorization to take large sums out of the country is
automatic.  The regulation does not affect U.S. trade.


3.  Structural Policies

    Pursuing a goal of a globally competitive economy, the
Australian government is continuing a program of economic
reform begun in the 1980s that includes an accelerated
timetable for the reduction of protection and microeconomic,
reform.  Initially broad in scope, the Australian government's
program is now focusing on industry-by-industry, microeconomic
changes designed to compel businesses to become more
competitive.  The strategy has three principal premises:
protection must be reduced; the pace of reform needs to be
accelerated; and, industry needs to be less pre-occupied about
receiving protection.

    Toward those ends, a phased program to cut tariffs by an
average of about 70 percent was begun July l, 1988, to be
completed on June 30, 1996.  Specifically, in approximately
equal phases, except for textiles, clothing, footwear (TCF) and
motor vehicles, all tariffs will be reduced to five percent. 
Along with these measures, some of the few manufactured
products still receiving bounties (production subsidies) will
have those benefits reduced each year until the bounties
expire.  U.S. exports will benefit from these reductions.  As
noted in Section 5 (below), local content requirements on
television advertising and programming and certain government
procurement practices may also have adverse effects on U.S. 
exporters and service industries.


4.  Debt Management Policies

    Australia's gross external public debt now exceeds A$91.8
billion, or 22.9 percent, of GDP.  That figure represents 44
percent of Australia's gross external debt; the remaining 56
percent is owed by the private sector.  Gross interest payments
on public debt totaled A$5.3 billion in AFY 1992/93,
representing 7.1 percent of exports of goods and services. 
Private sector debt service totaled A$6.1 billion, an amount
equal to another 8.1 percent of export earnings.  On an overall
basis, therefore, Australia's debt service ratio was 15.2
percent, down substantially from AFY 1991/2's 19.5 percent. 
Falling international interest rates caused the drop in the
debt service ratio.  Standard and Poor's general credit rating
for Australia remained AA during 1993.


5.  Significant Barriers to U.S. Exports

    The U.S. enjoyed an estimated A$8.4 billion trade surplus
with Australia in 1993.  There are no longer any significant
Australian barriers to U.S. exports.  The U.S. is the largest
source of imports in Australia, with a 22.3 percent share of
Australia's import market and a substantial share of the
imported products purchased by the government.  The following
Australian trade policies and practices affect U.S. exports to
some degree, but none can be considered significant.

    Licensing:  Import licenses are now only required for
certain vehicles, textiles, clothing, and footwear.  Licensing
applied to these products is for protection but, except for a
small market among importers of used automobiles, has had 
little impact on U.S. products.

    Service Barriers:  The Australian services market is
generally open, and many U.S. financial services, legal, and
travel firms are established here.  In 1992 the Australian
government announced a complete liberalization of the banking
sector and new foreign banks will be licensed to operate as
either branches (for wholesale banking) or subsidiaries (for
retail operations).  The Australian Broadcasting Authority
(ABA), which controls broadcast licensing, liberalized rules
governing local content in television advertising effective
January 1, 1992.  Nevertheless, under current rules only 20
percent of the time used for paid advertisements can be filled
with messages produced by non-Australians.  Statistics covering
calendar year 1992 indicate that approximately eight percent of
television advertisements broadcast in that year were produced
abroad.  More U.S.-produced advertisements should be broadcast
in 1993-4.

    On January 1, 1990, local content regulations regarding
commercial television programming entered into force. 
Beginning with 35 percent for 1990, the local content
requirement increased by five percent per year until January 1,
1993.  From that date forward, 50 percent of a commercial
television station's weekly broadcasts between the hours of
6:00 a.m. and midnight must be dedicated to Australian
programs.  Programs are evaluated on a complex point system
based on relevancy to Australia (setting, accent, etc., ranging
from no Australian content to a 100-percent Australian
production).  Trade sources indicate that the content
regulation does not have a substantial impact on the amount of
U.S.-sourced programming sold to Australian broadcasters,
because the mix of programming is driven by the market's
preference for Australian themes.  The latest available
statistics bear that out.  According to the ABA, in the two
years before the local content requirement took effect, an
average of 50 percent of commercial stations broadcasting time
was devoted to imported programming.  During the 1992
broadcasting year that figure increased to 54 percent. 
Nevertheless, the ABA's local content requirements have been
opposed actively by the Embassy and U.S. trade officials.

    State governments restrict development of private
hospitals.  The states' motives are to limit public health
expenditures and to balance public/private services to prevent
saturation and over-use, both major government fiscal concerns
given that most medical expenses for private hospital care are
paid through government health programs.

    Standards:  In 1992, Australia, became a signatory to the
GATT Standards Code.  However, it still maintains restrictive
standards requirements and design rules for automobile parts,
electronic and medical equipment, and some machine parts and
equipment.  Currently, all Australian standards are being
rewritten to harmonize them where possible to international
standards with the objective of fulfilling all obligations of
the GATT Standards Code.  For the first time, state governments
agreed in March 1991 to recognize each others standards.  As a
result, state standards are being reviewed to harmonize with
federal standards.

    Labeling:  Federal law requires that the country of origin
be clearly indicated on the front label of some products sold
in Australia.  Labels must also give the name and address of a
person in Australia responsible for the information provided on
the label.  State rules requiring that mass or volume of
packaging contents be expressed on labels to the nearest five
milliliters or kilograms are expected to be changed as state
standards are harmonized.  These and similar regulations are
being reconsidered along with other standards in light of
compliance with GATT obligations, lack of utility and effect on
trade.

    Motor Vehicles:  Passenger vehicle tariffs, currently 32.5
percent, will drop to 30 percent on January 1, 1994 and will be
phased down to 15 percent on January 1, 2000.  Under automotive
arrangements announced in March 1991, automobile manufacturers
may import duty free dutiable imported components up to a
maximum value equal to 15 percent of their automobile
production in a given year.  In addition, under terms of the
export facilitation scheme, local manufacturers of vehicles and
automotive components can receive an offset on the tariff on
finished vehicles they import for sale in Australia in an
amount equal to the value of their exports of
vehicles/components times the duty rate on the vehicles
imported.  Under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act of August 1,
1989, the import of used vehicles manufactured after 1973 for
personal use is banned, except where the car was purchased and
used overseas by the buyer for a minimum of three months. 
Commercial importers must apply for a "compliance plate"
costing A$20,000 for each make of car imported.  Left-hand
drive cars must be converted to right hand before they may be
driven in Australia.  Only approved (licensed) garages are
permitted to make these conversions.  Because of these
requirements, only a small number of used cars are imported
into Australia each year.

    Foreign investment:  U.S. firms account for the largest
single share of the stock of foreign direct investment in
Australia.  In February, 1992 the government announced
significant liberalizations opening the economy even further to
foreign investment.  In the mining sector (excluding uranium),
the 50-percent Australian equity and control guideline for
participation in new mining projects, and the economic benefits
test for acquisitions of existing mining businesses have been
abolished.  In almost all sectors of the economy, the
thresholds above which foreign investment proposals must be
examined by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) have
been increased.  Proposals to acquire 15 percent or more of a
company or business with total assets below A$50 million, or
take over an off-shore company with Australian subsidiaries or
assets valued below A$50 million will no longer be examined. 
Proposals above the threshold will be approved unless found
contrary to the national interest.  The only sectors in which
the new liberalizations do not apply are uranium mining, civil
aviation, the media, and urban real estate.

    Divestment cannot be forced without due process of law. 
There is no record of forced disinvestment outside that
stemming from investments or mergers which tend to create
market dominance, contravene laws on equity participation, or
result from unfulfilled contractual obligations.

    Government Procurement:  Australia is not a member of the
GATT Government Procurement Code, but has said it will examine
the Code for possible adherence when the current Uruguay Round
of revisions is complete.

    The federal government abandoned the civil offset program
in 1992.  Three state governments still require offsets in some
cases.  Nonetheless, in dismantling the offset program, the
government removed a major trade irritant between the U.S. and
Australia.

    Since 1991, foreign information technology companies with
annual sales to the Australian government of A$10-40 million
have been required to enter into fixed term arrangements
(FTA's), and those with sales greater than A$40 million into
partnerships for development (PFD's).  Under FTA's, a foreign
company or its subsidiary commits to undertake local industrial
development activities worth 15 percent of its projected amount
of government sales over a four-year period.  Under a PFD, the
headquarters of the foreign firm agrees to invest five percent
of its annual local turnover on R and D in Australia; export
goods and services worth 50 percent of imports (for hardware
companies) or 20 percent of turnover (for software companies);
and achieve 70 percent local content across all exports within
the seven year life of the PFD.  In 1992 this scheme was
extended into the telecommunications customer premises
equipment (CPE) sector, replacing, in large measure, the
requirement that suppliers of cellular mobile telephones,
pabx's, small business systems, and first telephones have
Industrial Development Arrangements (IDA's) in place before
obtaining licenses to connect their equipment to the public
switched network.  The IDA program now is scheduled to be
eliminated in June, 1996.

    Beginning on February 1, 1992, the government implemented a
Restricted Systems Integration Panel (RSIP) scheme.  The RSIP
is a panel of 20 to 25 selected private companies through which
all Commonwealth information technology requirements involving
systems integration activity are to be sourced, except for
purchases with an estimated value of less than A$1 million. 
Firms applying for panel membership will be evaluated on
"demonstrated competence, commercial viability and potential to
contribute to government policy objectives, including expansion
into Asian-Pacific markets, particularly those of north and
southeast Asia."  The net effect of the panel will be to hinder
non-member participation in government systems integration
contracts.  Technically, panel membership will not be closed. 
However, access will remain restricted and a new applicant
(domestic or foreign) would have to demonstrate eligibility to
join or be able to offer expertise not available within the
panel.  Several U.S. firms were named initial members of the
panel.  The Embassy and the Australian Information Industry
Association have strongly opposed the panel's establishment.

    In December, 1992 the Australian government announced an
initiative requiring, beginning in AFY 1993/4, Government
Business Enterprises (GBE's - central government-owned
companies such as the Australian and Overseas
Telecommunications Corporation and the Civil Aviation
Authority) to, inter alia, give "local companies the maximum
opportunity to compete for government business consistent with
the commercial objectives of GBE's and the need to obtain value
for money."  The new policy stops well short of directing GBE's
to give preference to local suppliers.  However, it does bias
them towards buying locally and could, therefore, become a
significant element determining their procurement choices.

    At the end of 1993, Industry Minister Griffiths made
several public calls for increased use of government
procurement as a tool for facilitating the development of local
industry.  His industry policy statement, expected in early
1994, is likely to contain a specific proposal along those
lines.

    Quarantines:  Because of its geographic location, Australia
is relatively free of many animal diseases (rabies,
hoof-and-mouth, etc.) and pests that plague other parts of the
world.  To preserve its environment, Australia imposes
extremely stringent animal and plant quarantine restrictions. 
Except for horses, livestock imports are limited to
reproductive material and a few valuable breeding animals that
must undergo long quarantines.

    Tobacco:  Local manufacturers are encouraged to use at
least 50 percent local leaf in their products through the offer
of concessional duties on imported leaf.  In practice, an
"informal" agreement between growers and cigarette
manufacturers extends the local content requirements to 57
percent.  This local content rule is to be removed on July 1,
1995, but the decision of the U.S. Congress to increased U.S. 
local content requirements could lead to calls for a delay. 
Since October 12, 1989, the government has banned the sale of
smokeless tobaccos (chewing tobacco, snuff for oral use) in
Australia, leaving the market solely to local products used for
oral purposes, but not labeled as such.

    Fruit drinks:  Non-carbonated fruit drinks containing 20
percent or more local fruit juice are assessed a sales tax of
ten percent, whereas fruit drinks with below 20 percent local
fruit juice content are assessed a 20 percent sales tax.  U.S. 
industry claims the discriminatory tax on content results in a
significant amount of lost sales.  A law, which was to have
become effective on July 1, 1991, taxing all fruit juice
regardless of origin at ten percent, has been rescinded.


6.  Export Subsidies Policies

    Australia has signed the GATT Subsidies Code and joined
with the U.S. in GATT negotiations to limit export subsidy use.

    The Australian government provides
export-market-development reimbursement grants of up to
A$250,000 for most qualifying domestic firms exporting goods
and services.  Other mechanisms provide for drawbacks of
tariffs, sales, and excise taxes paid on exported finished
products or their components.  In some cases, government grants
and low-cost financing are provided to exporters for bonding,
training, research, insurance, shipping costs, fees, market
advice, and to meet other costs.  "Bounties" (in effect
production subsidies) are paid to manufacturers of some textile
and yarn products, bed sheets, new ships, some machine tools,
and computer and molding equipment to help them export or
compete with cheaper foreign-made substitutes.  Existing
bounties are to be phased down until they expire.  Bounties and
their expiration dates are:  shipbuilding, citrus fermentation
and textiles - June 30, 1995; computers and circuit boards -
December 31, 1995; machine tools and robots - June 30, 1996;
books - December 31, 1997.  All bounties will be reviewed
before expiration with some possibly extended or converted to
tariffs.

    The government provides support and research and
development grants to Australian industry for trials and
development of internationally competitive products and
services for which the Federal or state government are the
primary purchasers.

    Electricity production is the purview of state governments,
some of which subsidize the industry and/or selected users of
electricity.  States also control railroads and rates; some use
rail charges as a form of indirect taxation to overcome their
legal inability to levy income and some sales taxes.  New South
Wales and Queensland charge high freight rates for coal partly
for that reason.  Other states charge high prices, to move
wheat by rail, a factor which hurts Australian wheat's
competitiveness on world markets.  In competing for investment,
states offer a wide range of negotiable concessions on land,
utilities, and labor training, some of which amount to
subsidies.


7.  Protection of U.S. Intellectual Property

    Patents, copyrights, trademarks, designs and integrated
circuits are protected by Australian law.  Australia is a
member of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the
Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic
Works, the Universal Copyright Convention, the Geneva
Phonograms Convention, The Rome Convention for the Protection
of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting
Organizations, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.  Australian
law is broad and protects new technology, including genetic
engineering.

    Patents:  Patents are available for inventions in all
fields of technology (except for human beings and biological
processes for their reproduction).  They are protected by the
Patents Act, which offers coverage for 16 years, subject to
renewal.  However, patents for pharmaceutical substances may
have the term of protection extended to 20 years.  Trade
secrets are protected by common law, such as by contract. 
Designs can be initially protected by registration under the
Designs Act for one year, which may be extended for six years
and for two additional periods of five years each upon
application.

    Trademarks:  Trade names and marks may be protected for
seven years and renewed at will by registration under the
Trademark Act.  Once used, trade names and marks may also,
without registration, be protected by common law.  Australian
law permits, in some product categories, parallel imports; that
is, imports of legally manufactured products ordered by someone
other than a person or firm having exclusive distribution
rights in Australia.  Parallel importation is allowed for
books, and has been proposed for sound recordings (legislation
which would have allowed such imports died when Parliament was
dissolved for the March, 1993 national election).  In
September, 1993, the Australian copyright law review committee
recommended that parallel importation of computer software be
allowed under strict limitations.

    Copyrights:  Copyrights are protected under the Australian
Copyright Act.  Works do not require registration, and
copyright protection automatically applies to original
literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works, film and sound
recordings.  Computer programs are legally considered to be
literary works.  Copyright protection is for the life of the
author plus 50 years.

    The Australian Copyright Act provides protection regarding
public performances in hotels and clubs, and against video
piracy and unauthorized third-country imports.  However, no
protection is accorded against the commercial rental of sound
recordings without royalty payments.  The U.S. continues to
urge the government to provide for such protection in law. 
There have been no complaints about unauthorized public
showings of films in recent years.  The Attorney General's
Department monitors the effectiveness of industry bodies and
enforcement agencies in curbing the illegal use of copyrighted
material.

    New Technologies:  Illegal infringement of technology does
not appear to be a significant problem.  Australia has its own
software industry and accords protection to foreign and
domestic production.  Australia manufactures only basic
integrated circuits and semiconductor chips.  Its geographic
isolation precludes most U.S. satellite signal piracy. 
Australian networks, which pay for the rights to U.S. 
television programs, jealously guard against infringement. 
Cable television is not yet established in Australia.


8.  Worker Rights

    a.   Right of Association

    Workers in Australia fully enjoy and practice the rights to
associate, to organize and to bargain collectively; rights
enshrined in the Arbitration Act of 1904.  Although there is no
specific legislation guaranteeing the right to strike in
Australia, work stoppages are well-established in practice.  In
general, industrial disputes are resolved either through direct
employer-union negotiations or under the auspices of the
various state and federal industrial relations commissions
whose mandate includes resolution of disputes through
conciliation and arbitration.  Australia has ratified the major
International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions regarding
worker rights.

    b.   Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

    Approximately 40 percent of the Australian work force
belongs to a union.  The industrial relations system operates
through independent federal and state tribunals; unions are 
fully integrated into that process, having explicitly stated
legal rights and responsibilities.

    c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

    Compulsory and forced labor are prohibited by ILO
conventions which Australia has ratified, and are not practiced
in Australia.

    d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children

    The minimum age for the employment of children varies in
Australia according to industry apprenticeship programs, but
the enforced requirement that children attend school until age
15 maintains an effective floor on the age at which children
may be employed on a full-time basis.

    e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work

    There is no legislatively-determined minimum wage.  An
administratively-determined minimum wage exists, but is now
largely outmoded, although some minimum wage clauses still
remain in several federal awards and some state awards. 
Instead, various minimum wages in individual industries are
specified in industry "awards" approved by state or federal
tribunals.

    Workers in Australian industries, including the petroleum,
food, chemicals, metals, machinery, electrical, transportation
equipment, wholesale trade, and general manufacturing sectors,
enjoy hours, conditions, health, safety standards and wages
that are among the best and highest in the world.

    f.   Rights in Sectors with U.S. Investment

    Most of Australia's industrial sectors enjoy some U.S. 
investment.  Worker rights in all sectors are essentially
identical in law and practice and do not differ between
domestic and foreign ownership.


         Extent of U.S. Investment in Selected Industries

              U.S. Direct Investment Position Abroad
                on an Historical Cost Basis - 1992
                    (Millions of U.S. dollars)

Category                                    Amount

Petroleum                                              2,691
Total Manufacturing                                    6,631
    Food & Kindred Products                 1,279
    Chemicals and Allied Products           2,133
    Metals, Primary & Fabricated              388
    Machinery, except Electrical              488
    Electric & Electronic Equipment           374
    Transportation Equipment                  418
    Other Manufacturing                     1,551
Wholesale Trade                                        1,424
Banking                                                1,011
Finance and Insurance                                  1,523
Services                                                 686
Other Industries                                       2,731
TOTAL ALL INDUSTRIES                                  16,697




Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic
Analysis.

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