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Trans-Pacific Partnership a priority as America eyes export markets, Clinton says

Thursday 4th November 2010

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Concluding a successful negotiation of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is high on the US agenda, with the world’s biggest economy looking to grow its export market, says US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Our priority is to really focus on the TPP to see how and if we can drive that to a completion.” The agreement aims to create a free-trade block spanning the Asia-Pacific region, and has grown from New Zealand’s P4 deal with Chile, Brunei and Singapore, she told reporters in Wellington

“We are very committed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and New Zealand again is playing a leading role,” she said. “We want to expedite the agreement as much as possible.”

President Barack Obama wants a similar trade experience as New Zealand and is aiming to “double exports over the next several years,” she said.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the TPP’s significance has grown as more parties, such as Canada and Japan, indicate their interest in joining the deal.

“From New Zealand’s point of view, our only condition is that we want a comprehensive and high quality agreement,” he said.

When asked if a bilateral trade deal was on the cards between the nations, Clinton said she couldn’t rule one in or out.

Clinton’s visit was to sign the so-called ‘Wellington Declaration’ with her local counterpart, Foreign Minister Murray McCully. The agreement calls for greater cooperation in the Pacific, on climate change and in trade and scientific exchanges.

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