The prime minister has met with America's top trade official before a crucial meeting of political leaders on Tuesday to try to complete a Pacific-wide trade deal by the end of the year.
John Key, who will chair the Trans Pacific Partnership meeting on the sidelines of APEC in Bali on Tuesday, met with the United States trade representative, Mike Froman, on Monday.
Mr Froman replaces the US president, Barack Obama, who has been unable to attend APEC.
It's understood key contentious issues remain unresolved, and Mr Key says he'll measure the success of the talks if the momentum to do a deal by the end of December is maintained.
"It doesn't mean it's a failure if we don't get there because these are quite big hurdles to get over now and it's a very big deal and it's complex with a lot of moving parts.
"But my sense is that leaders do want to get there notwithstanding the fact that ...everyone's got to give a bit."
Ahead of the meeting, on Tuesday evening NZ time, Mr Key said it was time for countries to put their offers on the table to try to secure a Pacific-wide trade deal.
Mr Key has met with a number of other leaders from the 12 nations involved in the negotiations to gauge where the difficulties may lie.
He says while contentious issues remain, it's time for all countries to reveal what they are preferred to offer, so they can try to reach an agreement by the end of the year.