Trade Minister David Parker has come home disappointed from the World Trade Organisation conference in Buenos Aires.
He says there's a lot of concern in the world about where some of the big countries are heading on trade, and the New Zealand team was apprehensive from the start about what could be achieved.
"We're pretty disappointed that on agriculture the conference wasn't ready to agree to cap the subsidies that major countries give their agriculture sector," he said.
"Nor was there any willingness to implement rules to make the regulation of services more transparent, predictable or accessible."
There was, however, some progress on environmental issues, he said.
"New Zealand has a leadership role here, so I'm really pleased that we started a dialogue to encourage the WTO to address global harm being caused by fossil fuel subsidies."