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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
AUSTRALIA: 1994 COUNTRY REPORT ON ECONOMIC POLICY AND TRADE PRACTICES
BUREAU OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS





                            AUSTRALIA

                     Key Economic Indicators
       (Billions of U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted 1/)


                                   1992      1993      1994 2/

Income, Production and Employment:

Real GDP (1989-90 prices) 3/      276.7     262.4     293.8
Real GDP Growth (pct.)              1.8       3.2       4.3
GDP (at current prices)           292.1     281.5     317.6
By Sector:
  Agriculture                      11.7      10.9      12.2
  Energy/Water                      9.2       8.7       9.4
  Manufacturing                    41.2      40.3      46.1
  Construction                     18.2      17.8      19.6
  Ownership of Dwellings           27.5      26.1      28.8
  Finance/Property/Business Svcs.  33.0      30.4      32.6
  Other Services 4/                45.4      43.4      49.1
  General Government and Defense   10.8      10.0      10.9
  Net Exports of Goods & Services  -0.5      -1.3      -1.3
Real Per Capita GDP (USD)          15.8      15.0      16.6
Labor Force (000s)                8,623     8,648     8,760
Unemployment Rate (pct.)           10.8      10.9       9.8

Money and Prices:  (annual percentage growth)

Money Supply (M1) (pct./year-end)  20.0      17.8      19.3
Base Interest Rate 5/               7.2       5.8       6.0
Personal Savings Ratio (pct.)       4.9       5.0       5.4
Retail Price Index (pct. change)    2.1       2.8       2.9
Consumer Price Index (pct. change)  1.0       1.8       2.4
Wholesale Price Index               N/A       N/A       N/A
Exchange Rate (A$1=U.S. cents)     74.0      68.0      73.0
  Percentage Growth                -5.0      -8.1       7.4

Balance of Payments and Trade:

Total Exports (FOB) 6/             43.2      42.7      50.4
  Exports to U.S.                   3.8       3.4       4.0
Total Imports (FOB)                41.1      42.4      51.1
  Imports from U.S.                 9.2       9.0      10.2
Aid from U.S.                         0         0         0
Aid from Other Countries              0         0         0
Gross External Public Debt         63.2      64.9      67.9
Debt Service Payments (paid)        9.2       7.5       7.9
Gold and Foreign Exch. Reserves    14.9      14.3      15.0
Current Account Balance           -10.7     -10.7     -12.0
  Trade Balance with U.S.          -5.3      -5.5      -6.2


N/A--Not available.

1/ Exchange rate fluctuations must be considered when analyzing
data.  Percentage changes are calculated in Australian dollars.
2/ 1994 figures are all estimates based on available monthly 
and quarterly data in October 1994.
3/ GDP at factor cost for base year indicated.
4/ "Other Services" includes community, recreation, personal
and other services.
5/  Figures are actual, average annual interest rates, not
changes in them.
6/ Trade data recorded on a foreign trade basis - different to
those recorded on a balance of payments basis.



1.  General Policy Framework

    Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1994 was
estimated to be US $317.6 billion.  Real GDP is estimated to
have grown by 4.3 percent, a substantial improvement from
1993's 3.2 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 between 9.5 and 10
percent during 1994.

    U.S. economic interests in Australia are substantial,
including direct investment worth approximately US $16 billion
and a bilateral trade surplus of approximately US $6 billion
(up by approximately US $600 million from 1993).

    Although in area 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 a leading exporter of
coal, minerals and metals, particularly iron ore, gold,
alumina, and aluminum.  Export earnings are not well
diversified; in 1993, primary products accounted for  60
percent of the total value of goods and services exports.

    The drought which Australia suffered in 1994 affected the
agricultural sector severely.  The wheat crop, for example, was
cut by an estimated 51 percent from the previous year, reducing
export earnings and necessitating the importation of wheat,
corn, and sorghum.  Some commentators believe that the drought
may reduce otherwise-attainable real GDP growth (as shown in
the data table above) by approximately 0.5 percent.

    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 (airlines, banks, telecommunications) and state level
(water treatment, transportation, electricity, banks) is being
pursued.  The government intends to sell the remaining
75 percent of Qantas to the public in 1995.  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.

    The Australian Government continued to provide substantial
fiscal stimulus to the domestic economy in 1994.  The budget
deficit reached US $9.6 billion (3.4 percent of GDP).  Public
sector borrowing more than funded the deficit, and took the
form of treasury notes (US $427 million), treasury bonds
(US $10.1 billion), and cash drawdowns (US $4.9 billion).  As
part of its Australian Fiscal Year (AFY) 1994-95 budget, the
government announced its intention to cut the deficit to
1 percent of GDP by AFY 1996-97.

    The money supply is 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.  The
government also uses interest rate changes to influence the
money supply.  In 1994, official government interest rates were
increased twice, by 75 basis points in August, and a full
percentage point in October, to reach 6.5 percent.

    A strong supporter of the Uruguay Round negotiations
liberalizing international trade, the Australian government
moved rapidly to ratify the Uruguay Round agreements and became
a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on
January 1, 1995.  Australia also advocates liberalizing trade
within the Asia-Pacific region; it is a leading member of the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and strongly
supported the November 1994 Bogor Declaration, in which APEC
leaders set the goal of free trade in the region by the year
2020.

    The challenge the government will face in 1995 is to
maintain moderately high real growth and reduce unemployment
without causing a revival of inflation and a massive increase
in the current account deficit (by virtue of the impact growth
has on the demand for imports).  Many economists believe that
the desired gains in growth and employment will come, but are
worried that unless the government cuts the budget deficit
faster than currently planned, both of the feared side effects
could be produced by an overheating economy.


2.  Exchange Rate Policies

    Australian Dollar (A$) 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 has a comfort range in mind when
looking at exchange rate movements.  It is active in "smoothing
and testing" foreign exchange rates in order to provide a
generally stable environment for fundamental economic 
adjustment policies, and intervenes occasionally to combat
speculative attacks on the Australian dollar.

    Australia does not have major foreign exchange controls
beyond requiring Reserve Bank approval if more than A$5,000
(US $3,650) in cash is to be taken out of Australia at one
time, or A$50,000 (US $36,500) in any form in one year.  The
purpose 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 micro-economic
reform.  Initially broad in scope, the Australian government's
program is now focusing on industry-by-industry, micro-economic
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 must learn to do without high levels of protection.

    Towards these ends, a phased program to cut tariffs by an
average of about 70 percent was begun July 1, 1988, to be
completed on June 30, 1996.  Specifically, in approximately
equal phases, except for textiles, clothing, footwear and motor
vehicles, all tariffs will be reduced to 5 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.   The
Uruguay Round agreements will force faster-than-planned tariff
reductions in only a small number of cases.

    As noted in Section five (below), local content
requirements on television advertising and programming and
certain government procurement practices may have adverse
effects on U.S. exporters and service industries.


4.  Debt Management Policies

    Australia's gross external public debt now exceeds
US $67.7 billion, or 23.5 percent of GDP.  That figure
represents 46 percent of Australia's gross external debt; the
remaining 54 percent is owed by the private sector.  Gross
interest payments on public debt totaled US $4.0 billion in
AFY 1993/94, representing 6.7 percent of exports of goods and
services.  Private sector debt service totaled US $4.0 billion,
an amount equal to another 6.7 percent of export earnings.  On
an overall basis, therefore, Australia's debt service ratio was
13.4 percent, down substantially from AFY 1992/93's 14.9
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 1994.


5.  Significant Barriers to U.S. Exports

    The U.S. enjoyed an estimated US $6.2 billion trade surplus
with Australia in 1994.  There are no longer any significant
Australian barriers to U.S. exports.  The U.S. is the number
one source of imports in Australia, with a 21 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.

    Licensing:  Import licenses are now required only 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 in Australia.  In 1992 the
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.  Under current rules, up to 20 percent of the
time used for paid advertisements can be filled with messages
produced by non-Australians.  Statistics covering 1992 (the
latest available) indicate that approximately 8 percent of
television advertisements broadcast in that year were produced
abroad.

    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 5 percent per year until January
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. programming sold to Australian broadcasters, as 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 46 percent of commercial
stations' broadcasting time was devoted to imported
programming.  During the 1992 broadcasting year, that figure
fell to 44 percent.  Regulations governing the development of
Australia's pay-TV system require that channels carrying drama
programs devote at least 10 percent of broadcast time to new,
locally produced programs.  The ABA's local content
requirements have been opposed actively by the American Embassy
and U.S. trade officials.  In September 1994 the Embassy
reiterated U.S. opposition to quotas in the context of the
ABA's review of broadcasting content regulation.  That review
is expected to conclude in early 1995.

    State governments restrict development of private
hospitals.  States' motives are to limit public health
expenditures and to balance public/private services to prevent
saturation and overuse -- 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.  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 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
30 percent, will drop to 27.5 percent on January 1, 1995 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
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 (US $14,600) 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 reforms to open 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, were
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)
wereincreased.  Proposals to acquire 15 percent or more of a
company or business with total assets below A$50 million
(US $36.5 million), or takeover an off-shore company with
Australian subsidiaries or assets valued below A$50 million
(US $36.5 million) are no longer examined.  Proposals above the
threshold will be approved unless found contrary to the
national interest.  The only sectors in which the reforms 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.  However, in June 1994 the
government announced an interagency examination of the code and
the question of possible adherence.  The review is scheduled to
be completed in early 1995.

    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 United
States and Australia.

    Since 1991, foreign information technology companies with
annual sales to the Australian government of A$10-40 million
(US $7.3-29.2 million) have been required to enter into fixed
term arrangements (FTAs), and those with sales greater than
A$40 million (US $29.2 million) into partnerships for
development (PFDs).  Under FTAs, 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 5 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,
small business systems, and first telephones have Industrial
Development Arrangements (IDAS) 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
(US $0.7 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 U.S. 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 (GBEs - central government-owned companies
such as the Australian and Overseas Telecommunication
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 GBEs and the need to obtain value for money".  The new
policy stops well short of directing GBEs 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.

    The Australian government's May 1994 employment and
industry policy statement strengthens these efforts to use
government procurement policy to encourage local industrial
development.  It requires industry impact statements to be
drafted for procurement of US $7.4 million or more, and
establishes a two-envelope system for such tenders.  Under the
latter system, bidders will be required to submit detailed
information regarding Australian industrial development
separately (in "envelope 2"), and bids will be judged both on
price/product specifications and industrial development grounds.

    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.  Studies are underway which
could see the lifting of phytosanitary barriers to the
importation of U.S. salmon and cooked chicken.

    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
October 1, 1995.  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:  Noncarbonated fruit drinks containing
20 percent or more local fruit juice are assessed a sales tax
of 10 percent, whereas fruit drinks with below 20 percent local
fruit juice content are assessed a 20 percent sales tax.  This
Australian content-based tax rule was due to be rescinded on or
before January 1, 1995.  In 1993, Australia modified its
preferential tariff scheme to equalize, from July 1, 1995, the
tariff applied on citrus from developed and developing
countries.  The tariff will be set at 8 percent effective on
that date, and will fall to 5 percent on July 1, 1996.


6.  Export Subsidies Policies

    Australia 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
(US $182,500) 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 and textiles
(June 30, 1995); citric acid (March 31, 1996); machine tools
and robots (June 30, 1997); books, computers and circuit boards
(December 31, 1997).  All bounties will be reviewed before
expiration with some possibly extended or converted to
tariffs.  Dairy market support payments, which were classed as
an export subsidy under the Uruguay Round, are to be terminated
on June 30, 1995 in accordance with Australia's Uruguay Round
implementing legislation.

    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 within 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, trademarks, designs and integrated circuit
copyrights 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
Berne 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 production).  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 further periods of five and five years respectively,
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.  Some
protection also extends to parallel importing; 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, however, 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 Copyright
Act.  Works do not require registration and copyright
automatically subsists in 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.  Australia's
Uruguay Round implementing legislation extends protection
against the commercial rental of sound recordings and computer
programs.  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; these
rights are enshrined in the Arbitration Act of 1904. 
Legislation which went into effect on March 30, 1994 formally
legalized the right to strike, which already had been
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 conventions regarding worker rights.

    b.  Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

    Slightly less than 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 in every state that children attend
school until age 15 maintains an effective floor on the age at
which children may be employed full time.

    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--1993

                    (Millions of U.S. dollars)
                                                                
              Category                          Amount          

Petroleum                                              2,579
Total Manufacturing                                    7,076
  Food & Kindred Products                   1,319
  Chemicals and Allied Products             2,235
  Metals, Primary & Fabricated                317
  Machinery, except Electrical                624
  Electric & Electronic Equipment             405
  Transportation Equipment                    472
  Other Manufacturing                       1,704
Wholesale Trade                                        1,706
Banking                                                1,199
Finance/Insurance/Real Estate                          2,060
Services                                                 734
Other Industries                                       3,083
TOTAL ALL INDUSTRIES                                  18,437   

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

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