US isn't coming back to TPP deal - Trade Minister

Todd McClay is in Vietnam on Sunday to meet with 11 countries still interested in the deal.
Todd McClay is in Vietnam on Sunday to meet with 11 countries still interested in the deal.

New Zealand's Trade Minister says it's time to move on from the hope of the United States re-entering the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Todd McClay hopes the deal could come to fruition by the years end, and says while he'd like the US to get involved, it's time to get on with it.

"I've been meeting individually with ministers from each of the remaining TPP countries. I'm encouraged by what they are saying. New Zealand hopes for a good process over the coming months, so our leaders will be able to make a final decision."

On Sunday Mr McClay is chairing a meeting on the issue in Vietnam, with 11 other countries still interested in the deal.

The agreement shuddered to a halt soon after President Donald Trump took office, when he pulled the US from the deal.

However Bill English says the uncertainty around President Trump is actually helping keep the TPP alive.

"I think it's one of the incentives for the other 11 countries to keep going," the Prime Minister told The Nation on Saturday.

Mr McClay is still eager to get trade talks underway with the US, saying he'd like to have a formal sit-down in Washington for a formal talk about the matter.

But Mr McClay hopes free-trade deal negotiations with other Pacific Rim countries will move ahead:

"An agreement of 11 will still give really important access to New Zealand exporters. I mean, Japan, for instance: our beef exporters face a 38.5 percent tariff rate. Under TPP it drops to 9 percent."

Newshub.