NZ to reach out to US for bilateral trade deal

Prime Minister Bill English has announced he'll be reaching out to the US for a bilateral trade deal, after the nation dropped out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

The 12-nation free-trade deal has been 7 years in the making and was signed last year by the US, before US president Donald Trump scrapped it on Tuesday (NZ time).

In his first post-Cabinet press conference, Mr English called Mr Trump's actions "disappointing but not surprising" and said New Zealand will be reaching out to the US for a special bilateral deal.

"New Zealand has already been interested in close trade ties with the US," he said.

"How this all plays out remains to be seen. New Zealand will remain a positive advocate for open trade."

Trade Minister Todd McClay will be travelling to the US as soon as the US confirms their trade representative, Mr English said.