New Zealand's special agricultural trade envoy says a Trans-Pacific Partnership deal was very close to being reached at talks in Hawaii and he is confident it will be finalised in three weeks.
Negotiators for the 12 countries involved in the deal failed to reach an agreement by a weekend deadline and another TPP meeting is expected soon, perhaps by the end of August.
Mike Petersen said despite missing this latest deadline, the deal was certainly still on the cards.
"The main issue for us is the lack of ambition in the dairy market access deal, so I think that it's a fair summation that the big countries could not agree in the end on things like automobiles ... but dairy was certainly a sticking point.
"We were so very close and we shouldn't think of this as effectively being the end of it at all.
"This will certainly build as being the final chance to do a deal, but we probably do have another two to three weeks, and I know now negotiators are trying to work out how we can bridge those remaining gaps and I'm confident we'll certainly get there."