NZ needs to prepare for 'ticking trade time bomb' - Stephen Jacobi

An expert in international trade has praised the Government's move to talk to the country about trade, but warned New Zealand needs to keep an eye on international movements as well.

Minister of Trade David Parker announced the Trade for All scheme on Monday, a series of meetings around the country aimed at speaking to the public about trade.

New Zealand International Business Forum Executive Director Stephen Jacobi told the AM Show more discussion as a country could lead to less problems with future agreements.

"We had a big debate about [access to medicines] in TPP and here's the thing I think we need to sort these things out before we go to trade negotiations," he said.

"The more we can tackle complicated issues like that amongst ourselves first the better it will be."

But the Government needs to keep an eye on what is happening overseas as well as global trade tensions cause instability in the markets.

United States President Donald Trump has been announcing new tariffs and New Zealand recently failed to get an exemption on tariffs on steel imports into the US.

Mr Jacobi said it's important the Government keeps an eye on that as well as getting New Zealanders on side for trade.

"We are in a really difficult place in trade internationally today," Mr Jacobi said.

"We're sitting on a ticking trade time bomb with this trade war. While we work out here in New Zealand what we want to do we've got to keep up the work around the world."

Newshub.