Jacinda Ardern to dine with Mike Pence during Singapore summit

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 14 November 2018, 12:51p.m.
Mike Pence requested Ardern's company at the leader's dinner. (Photo / Getty)

Jacinda Ardern will dine with US Vice-President Mike Pence in Singapore this evening.

The Prime Minister will be sitting next to the Pence at the leaders' gala dinner at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

It will be her first substantial engagement with the Trump administration. Ardern met Donald Trump at APEC in passing last year, but they did not have any formal meetings.

ZB political editor Barry Soper told Andrew Dickens that Pence requested that Ardern be his dinner companion.

Ardern says she doesn't plan on raising the CPTPP with Pence.

"I imagine that we will probably have a conversation about trade issues more generally. I will see where the conversation goes, but I will bring up steel and aluminium tariffs, it's in New Zealand's interests that I do."

She says e a date at the White House isn't high on her agenda.

"That's not something that we're necessarily seeking. There is a strong relationship that will endure regardless of whether or not there are any explicit visits."

Soper says that Ardern has a busy schedule.

"She'll be meeting with the Premier of China, and she'll also be meeting with [Australian Prime Minister] Scott Morrison from the first time ever."

President Donald Trump isn't attending this year's summit.


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