9 Nov 2020

Jacinda Ardern on a Biden presidency: 'Trade issues will certainly be high on our agenda'

8:34 am on 9 November 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it's important to have tight connections with the US on big global issues and she'll be pursuing a strong relationship with President-elect Joe Biden.

Jacinda Ardern

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Joe Biden has become President-elect after a teeth-gritting election.

The result was called after Biden overtook President Donald Trump in the state of Pennsylvania, winning the state gave Biden more than 270 Electoral College seats which he needed for victory.

President-elect Biden visited New Zealand in 2016 in his role as Vice-President.

Jacinda Ardern told Morning Report there's no question personal connections make a difference to a relationship.

"But I'll be wanting to make sure that on behalf of New Zealand that we are maintaining good strong relationships, particularly in our region which has been quite contested over a number of years, and working together on issues that matter to the whole global community; trade, Covid, climate change."

The strength of the relationship is important regardless of whether bilateral discussion take place over the phone or in person, she said.

"I will be pursuing a strong relationship there because it matters to us, it's important for us to have the ability on big issues to really have those tight connections when we need them..."

Ardern said the leadership of the World Trade Organisation is important to New Zealand but there's been dispute over certain appointments which have held things up for New Zealand exporters.

"We need to have those strong relationships and engagements there," she said.

"Trade issues will certainly be high on our agenda."

New Zealand will be encouraging the US to take leadership on the international commitment to climate change, she said.

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