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'Conversation is still ongoing' - US Ambassador on President Trump's steel tariff on New Zealand

Despite US President Trump signing off on the KIWI Act last week, a new visa law to open up trade access to New Zealand businesses, it is not all smooth sailing with NZ-US relationship.

New Zealand is still subject to steel tariffs, which Foreign Minister Winston Peters is due to raise with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the weekend.

TVNZ1's Q+A asked US Ambassador Scott Brown why New Zealand should suffer, as the steel tariff was intended to impact China.

"New Zealand’s output of steel is almost de minimis and Australia owns that company. This conversation is still going on, it’s certainly far from done," Mr Brown said.

Q+A host Corin Dann asked why there was not a steel exemption for New Zealand.

"Australia's got one. We want one."

Mr Brown said he was "absolutely" still hopeful New Zealand could gain an exemption.

He said there was "constant communication" between the New Zealand Government and President Trump, when asked by Dann if a visit by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern or Mr Peters would help the situation.

"There’s no question in my mind, and in the administration’s mind... that there’s not an incredible, fantastic relationship," Mr Brown said.

The KIWI Act was signed off last week, but why is New Zealand still under steel tariffs? Source: Q+A