Prime Minister John Key is confident the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can be settled by the end of the year
Barack Obama and Mr Key met at the White House on Saturday morning New Zealand time.
Mr Obama said he'd like to see the TPP completed by the end of the year, and he hopes to have a document that can be made public by the time he meets Mr Key again at the G20 summit in November.
Mr Obama said New Zealand has been a great partner in the TPP process, and he and Mr Key discussed a timeline whereby a document can be finalised in the near future.
Mr Key said a high quality, comprehensive deal has to be struck, and if all 12 countries can't reach that it may be better to have a smaller grouping.
"Partners have to reach that level and in they end if they couldn't reach that level. it may be better of course to have a smaller grouping."
However, Mr Key said Japan has been making positive public comments about the TPP, so he's confident it will come on board.
Relationship never stronger - Obama
President Barack Obama said his country's relationship with New Zealand is the strongest it has ever been after his meeting with Mr Key.
The two leaders discussed trade, climate change, and regional and global security, including Iraq.
Mr Obama said New Zealand and the US share the same values, excellent commercial ties and increasing military relationships.
And Mr Key said the US-New Zealand relationship is going from strength-to strength.
The two leaders met for more than an hour during which time they took a stroll around the grounds of the White House.
The president also said he wants to visit New Zealand before the end of his presidency and that his office is working to schedule a trip to New Zealand.