WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said in Singapore on Saturday that a Pacific free trade deal that includes the United States would be worth billions of dollars to New Zealand.
Key made the comment after US President Barack Obama re-committed his country to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Tokyo on Saturday, where he spoke en route to a meeting of Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders in Singapore, Radio New Zealand reported.
The proposed eight-country free trade agreement, which includes New Zealand, has been stalled since March pending a review of US trade policy.
Obama said in Tokyo the United States would re-engage in free trade agreements such as the TPP, which began under the previous administration, to help boost US exports and create jobs.
Key said that Obama's speech sent a clear message.
"It was very clear that he saw liberalization of the trade agenda as a pro-economic reform," Key said.
"This is the largest economy in the world...it's a big destination for our agricultural exports. You've got to imagine it's billions and billions of dollars involved," he said.
Earlier, Key urged the APEC leaders to make a new commitment to free trade.
Obama's commitment was welcomed by the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Obama gave no date for negotiations to start and Key said it could be years before the deal involving the eight countries currently in the TPP is concluded.