30 Sep 2015

TPP: Groser heads to 'wrap up' meeting

12:33 pm on 30 September 2015

Trade Minister Tim Groser will attend a ministerial meeting in the United States that has the aim of wrapping up the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Mr Groser will join his counterparts in the 12-nation TPP talks in Atlanta. Officials are already meeting in the US city to try to narrow differences on outstanding issues such as medicines, cars and dairy products.

Tim Groser says ending fuel subsidies will be a tough sell.

Photo: AFP

He had previously said that current offers to open up access to dairy products were completely inadequate, and he would only go if progress had been made by officials.

Agricultural Trade Envoy Mike Petersen, who is in Atlanta for the talks, said no progress had been made in that area since then.

He said officials had gone as far as they could and trade ministers were needed at the table if the talks were to be successfully concluded.

"There's still some work to do in automobiles, biologics and IP, and around dairy obviously in New Zealand's case.

"We need ministers to make the hard calls on those areas, and we're hopeful they can do so over the next couple of days."

Trade ministers from the TPP nations will meet tomorrow, and the controversial deal could be sealed by the end of the week, creating a new trade zone encompassing 40 percent of the world's economy.