The Meat Industry Association says concerns about human rights should be kept away from trade, as it welcomes China's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Signatories to the trade deal, such as Australia, have previously voiced strong concern about the mass incarceration of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
But a leading export body in New Zealand, the Meat Industry Association, said that Aotearoa should back the bid.
Chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said geopolitical and trade issues are separate.
"The government has spoken very clearly about New Zealand's approach to a sovereign and a standalone foreign policy approach, and I think it's important to keep geopolitical issues away from trade issues.
"They're separate, and they don't necessarily need to bleed into one another."
However, there has been global concern about China's treatment of human rights.
In May, Parliament unanimously called for action to prevent severe human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims, in a motion that stopped short of calling those abuses genocide.
China responded with a statement from the Chinese Embassy website that the declaration was "in total disregard of China's solemn position" and saying "this move grossly interferes in China's internal affairs."
MP Louisa Wall went even further and broke with Labour to make accusations of China harvesting organs from political prisoners.
Amnesty International's New Zealand director has said that an international mission is urgently needed after the group's report calling Chinese treatment of Uyghurs a "dystopian hellscape".
Taiwan, which is seeking to join the partnership, has expressed alarm at China's application, saying its recent policies lack transparency.