A trade meeting due to take place in Guam next week to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership looks in doubt.
The hold up appears to be the passage of the Fast Track legislation in the United States, which would allow President Barack Obama to strike a trade deal without it being amended by the US Congress.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week.
Trade Minister Tim Groser said the passage of the legislation was an important step in paving the way for final negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
New Zealand International Business Forum executive director Stephen Jacobi said given the uncertainty around the US legislation he would not be surprised if there was no meeting.
"That trade promotion authority needs to go through until participating economies in the TPP negotiation are willing to make their final offers, ministers will still have to make some very difficult decisions about very complex issues and they're not going to be able to do that in a climate of uncertainty."