New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff says the country’s chances of securing a free-trade pact with the US have improved after a deal between the White House and Congress, the Dominion Post reported.

Goff, who was in Washington for meetings with US trade representative Susan Schwab and senior Republicans and Democrats, said warming bilateral relations were also helping New Zealand’s case.

The report noted that a bipartisan deal had been struck between the Republican administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress to include enforceable labor and environmental provisions in free-trade agreements.

For New Zealand “it means a much greater prospect that bipartisan agreement will be achieved to allow for renewal of the Trade Promotion Authority which fast tracks approval of trade agreements,” Goff said. (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)