Australia was given a favoured nation position while New Zealand was not on the exemption list for the steel and aluminium tariffs being invoked in the United States by President Donald Trump.
Australian media and industry heard of the special exclusion that also went to Canada, while there the appeal by New Zealand appeared to fall on deaf ears.
Commenting, Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said disappointment has also been expressed by other countries including South Africa and Japan.
The Government said the situation remains unclear even in regard to those countries named as having an exemption.
“We are concerned at the possible implications for our domestic producers. While our exports of steel and aluminium to the US are not large, they are important to the businesses and workers in those industries,” Parker said.
“We are seeking clarity from the US Administration on the way forward. As you know, the Prime Minister and I have already written to our US counterparts, and have directed officials to engage at all levels.”
Parker also spoke to the US Ambassador to New Zealand.
He said the omission of New Zealand belies the positive bilateral relationship.
“New Zealand is a strong security and defence partner for the US, and we enjoy a healthy and balanced trade relationship.
Parker said New Zealand is a strong supporter of the rules-based trading system, particularly given the benefits this presents for small nations.
“That is why this Government continues to pursue high-quality free trade agreements, such as CPTPP, which also reflect our broader objectives.”