3 Jul 2017

VIDEO: Trump's man in NZ keen on trade deal

12:55 pm on 3 July 2017

New US ambassador Scott Brown will be looking for "any and all opportunities" for some sort of trade deal with New Zealand after Donald Trump pulled out of the TPP, he says.

"There's more to trade than TPP," Mr Brown told Morning Report's Guyon Espiner.

"I'm looking for any and all opportunities to establish some type of trade, whether it's a free trade [deal], whether it's an individual bilateral [trade deal].

"I would love to be able to be the person to deliver that [bilateral deal with New Zealand], but obviously I work for the president and I'm going to get guidance.

"I'm going to be speaking to our trade representative very shortly about that, I'm going to talk to your ministers to see what their priorities are."

There were fantastic business opportunities with New Zealand, he said.

Mr Brown defended his president's latest tweet - a spoof video of Mr Trump wrestling and punching a man whose head was replaced by the CNN logo.

"He has a sense of humour and I think everyone else sees that."

Mr Brown dismissed results of polls showing a low approval rating for Mr Trump, including a recent Pew survey showing low global confidence in the US president.

"I don't put a whole lot of faith in polls. What matters mostly is that he is president and he deserves to be able to do his job.

"If you speak to middle America about a lot of those polls they'll laugh at them because he's reaching out directly to the people, not going through the media."

Mr Brown presented his credentials and received a pōwhiri and military guard of honour at Government House late last week.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs