WELLINGTON, N.Z. — Confirmation made on Dec. 15 that the U.S. will start negotiating entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.) is a significant step toward trade liberalization within the Asia/Pacific region, according to Meat & Wool New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association. This formal notification to Congress follows President Obama’s recent announcement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (A.P.E.C.) meeting in Singapore.

Congressional notification from the U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, of intent to negotiate T.P.P., signals the start of the process, said Mike Petersen, Meat & Wool New Zealand chairman.

"Meat & Wool New Zealand has contributed to this important outcome through its presence in the U.S. for over 50 years in Washington, focused on strengthening our trade opportunities," he added. "Where we are today justifies the hard work undertaken by Meat & Wool New Zealand, with farming and political leaders over many years."