22 Sep 2008

US, NZ to start free-trade talks

6:34 pm on 22 September 2008

The United States is to start free-trade talks with New Zealand and other members of what is known as the P4 trade agreement.

Trade ministers from the US, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei are to meet in New York on Tuesday to formally signal the start of negotiations.

News of the US agreement to start talks is a significant breakthrough for New Zealand, which has been seeking a trade deal with the US for several years.

Under the proposal, the US will negotiate each chapter in the existing P4 agreement, which currently allows for all tariffs on goods to be scrapped by 2015 or 2017.