Last night, the WTO confirmed its interim verdict on the US tariff measures placed on Australian and New Zealand lamb imports. Australian trade minister Mark Vaile explained in his victory that the US tariffs "were unjustified and were inconsistent with WTO rules."

The trade restrictions had been in place since July of last year, when the US decreed that, on an annual lamb quota of 31,851 tonnes, a tariff of 9% would be added. Amounts over this level incurred 40% tariff. These restrictions must now be removed.

The US is expected to appeal against the verdict at some point during the beginning of next year, but in the meanwhile, Vaile says that he wanted the immediate removal of the tariff barriers and the resumption of fairer trade. If this does not happen, it is possible that reciprocal measures could be made against US produce imported to Australia.