Vice President Dan Quayle and Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke reaffirmed their countries' strong military links but differed on the contentious issue of trade.
The two topics dominated 90-minute talks Wednesday at the start of Quayle's five-day visit to Australia on the first leg of an Asian tour.Quayle described Australia, site of joint strategic satellite, shipping and communication monitoring posts, as "a solid and steadfast ally," U.S. officials said.
On the thorny issue of trade, Hawke argued for a swift end to the U.S. Export Enhancement Program, under which exporters receive a government bonus for increased sales.
He said the EEP, adopted largely to combat European Community subsidies, was also affecting Australia's penetration of world markets, particularly in wheat sales, because it cut prices.
Although the two men differed on the issue, Australian officials called the atmosphere as "very friendly."
The talks also covered a threat by New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange to pull out of the ANZUS defense alliance linking his country with Australia and the United States.