Key: TPP talks likely to resume

  • 03/08/2015
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong)
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong)

By Sarah McDougall and Peter Wilson

Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations could resume within three weeks and New Zealand has much to gain from a successful conclusion, Prime Minister John Key says.

The 12 TPP countries have just ended an intense session in Hawaii, where they couldn't reach a final agreement.

A dispute over access for dairy products, auto parts and drug patents were the main sticking points.

Mr Key is confident they'll be overcome.

"There are a few challenging issues remaining," he said at his post-Cabinet press conference today.

"I'm confident we will reach an agreement that's in the best interests of New Zealand in the coming weeks."

Mr Key says a TPP free trade agreement will give New Zealand exporters access to more than 800 million customers in 11 countries, including the huge economies of the United States and Japan.

He expects there will be some hard negotiating behind the scenes before the next formal meeting "potentially within the next two or three weeks".

Earlier on Monday Mr Key said US President Barack Obama had invested a lot of time and capital into the deal, which may help push it through.

"I don't know when but there's a narrow window of opportunity so we're going to have to keep working on it."

New Zealand wouldn't get everything, but would get something beneficial to exporters, Mr Key said.

Trade ministers from the 12 countries have said they are still highly confident a deal can be reached.

The countries involved are the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.