12 Jan 2013

No US response to NZ demands on dairy trade

8:15 am on 12 January 2013

A top trade official from the United States says her country is yet to make an offer in trade talks on better access to its markets for New Zealand dairy exports.

The comments from the US chief negotiator in the TransPacific Partnership, Barbara Weisel, come despite a deadline for the talks to be completed by October.

Last month Trade Minister Tim Groser said it was high time the US made an offer on dairy in the 11-country talks if the October deadline is to be met.

But Ms Weisel says no such offer was made at the last round of talks in Auckland, held after Mr Groser made his comments.

She says opening up dairy markets to foreign competition is a sensitive issue for the US and it is no rush to make an offer.

Mr Groser said last month that it would be difficult to meet American demands, such as better access to New Zealand's pharmaceuticals market, without a good deal for this country's exports in return.