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Ambassador Kirk and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Discuss Job-Supporting Trade Issues

Today, Ambassador Kirk met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to discuss priority, job-supporting trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda.

Ambassador Kirk and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key meet at the Blair House
Ambassador Kirk and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key meet at the Blair House

Following the seventh round of talks held last month in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Ambassador Kirk and Prime Minister Key reviewed progress in the TPP negotiations. The two discussed the shared goal of reaching the outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century agreement by the APEC Leaders’ meeting in November. They agreed that the United States and New Zealand will continue to work closely in the months ahead on the critical issues of mutual importance in the negotiations.

Ambassador Kirk and Prime Minister Key discussed the ongoing and close working relationship between the United States and New Zealand in APEC, and the two countries shared priority to make the U.S. APEC host year a success. Ambassador Kirk noted his appreciation for New Zealand’s continued strong support for U.S. APEC initiatives in 2011.

In connection with the WTO Doha Development Agenda, Ambassador Kirk and Prime Minister Key discussed the challenges facing negotiators and the importance of exploring options for productive next steps.

U.S. goods and services trade with New Zealand totaled $8 billion in 2009. U.S. goods exports to New Zealand in 2010 were $2.8 billion, up 30.6 percent from 2009, and up 87 percent from 1994. The top export categories in 2010 were aircraft, machinery, special other, optic and medical instruments, and vehicles. U.S. exports of agricultural products to New Zealand totaled $257 million in 2010. Leading categories included fresh fruit, live animals, and dairy products.