The Prime Minister remains confident a deal will be struck in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, despite the reluctance of Trade Minister Tim Groser to attend a ministerial meeting in the United States next week.
The United States has called the meeting of trade ministers in Atlanta, but Mr Groser is waiting to see if officials meeting over the weekend make any progress before deciding whether to go or not.
John Key appears more optimistic the 12 countries negotiating the trade and investment deal can reach an agreement.
"I still remain very, very confident that TPP can be completed and done so in a way that can be very advantageous to New Zealand.
"In the end I mean it is a free trade agreement with the United States and Japan amongst others, and the United States and Japan are very, very large consumer markets where we face significant barriers to entry for New Zealand products."
Officials from the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership start meeting in Atlanta tomorrow.
There had, however, been doubt until today whether ministers would meet.
The US has now called for ministers to meet after reports that it, Canada, Japan and Mexico had made progress on a disagreement about local content in the auto trade.
That progress, however, has had no impact on the issues of importance to New Zealand.
Access for dairy exports, particularly into the US, remained a sticking point.
Mr Groser said yesterday that while the TPP deal was of some benefit to New Zealand as it stood, the current offers to open up dairy access were not satisfactory.
"What is on the table is, in our opinion, completely inadequate and with balls frankly in their court," he said.
He still wanted to see whether officials could make enough progress on that and other issues to make it worth his going to the ministerial talks set for 30 September.
But Mr Groser will not be far away from Atlanta. He will be in New York next week for talks on climate change.
Opponents of the TPP said New Zealand should abandon the talks because it was giving away too much for little reward.
Negotiations for the proposed deal have attracted fierce criticism and sparked nationwide protests.