4 Jun 2014

TPP could still end in failure - expert

2:51 pm on 4 June 2014

A New Zealand business representative said after years of talks and 19 rounds of formal negotiations, it's still unclear whether a Trans Pacific Trade agreement will happen.

Stephen Jacobi, executive director of the New Zealand US Council, told the annual primary industry summit in Wellington that the TPP would be an important step in untangling what he describes as the noodle bowl of trade agreements.

But he said getting a comprehensive deal on market access for agriculture, the key outcome for New Zealand, remains one of the biggest obstacles.

"TPP has been promoted from the very beginning as an ambitious and comprehensive agreement. And from a New Zealand perspective, this equates to an agreement which over time, results in tariff elimination for all products, for all participants, with all participants sharing equally in all the benefits."

But Mr Jacobi said internal politics in Japan and the US add to the complications and he said the failure in the end to get an agreement remains a possibility.