10 Nov 2012

Obama re-election 'should lessen disruption' to TPP talks

6:32 am on 10 November 2012

A free trade lobby group says the re-election of Barack Obama as the US president should lessen any disruption to the eventual completion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.

NZ-US Council executive director Stephen Jacobi says Mr Obama will be determined to build on his legacy now he's won a second term, and a trade deal could help cement that.

He says although TPP negotiators could have worked with a new administration, it is positive that they will now be working with the people it's come to know.

Mr Jacobi says there will be some changes including a new US trade representative but the basis is there to continue a very strong partnership.

He says Mr Obama needs to work with the US Congress to tackle that country's enormous debt burden without dragging the world's biggest economy into recession.

Mr Jacobi says a successful outcome and a faster growing US economy would help lower the New Zealand dollar against its American counterpart.

The 11 nations involved in the talks account for more than a quarter of global production, and its supporters argue a successful outcome will give New Zealand farmers better access to the lucrative US market.

Its critics argue New Zealand will be worse off, and the country will end up ceding sovereignty in areas like drugs for questionable returns.