Groser: TPPA 'within reach'

  • 02/10/2015
Tim Groser (AAP)
Tim Groser (AAP)

An agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is within reach as negotiations in Atlanta are at crunch point, says Trade Minister Tim Groser.

Trade ministers from the 12 Pacific Rim nations, including New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US, are looking for ways through the last few problems that have been holding up what is potentially the largest trade zone deal in history.

Prime Minister John Key says he's optimistic it can be finalised within the week, although the window is closing.

Mr Groser, New Zealand's chief negotiator, echoed the Prime Minister's statements and said there's a 90 percent chance it'll be done within the "next little while".

"It's that last bit that's the toughest to get over the hill," he told the Paul Henry programme today. "It's within reach but I can't touch it yet."

But he conceded that how the negotiations would turn out is anyone's guess.

"Will we get there? Anyone who thinks they know the answer are not involved in this negotiation. We might, we might not."

He went on to say Canada is preparing to make some concessions on its heavily protected dairy industry, including a potential compensation package for Canadian farmers.

"The Canadian Prime Minister has basically given enough flexibility to his negotiators here in Atlanta to put a serious offer on the table."

"All of this indicates Canada is finally coming the table with a serious offer.

"It's not closed yet with us or the United States. But it's in good faith."

NZN