Trade Minister Damien O’Connor is leaving New Zealand in the next 24 hours for the United States and Europe. The trip appeared to be an official secret until just the last few days before departure and was only revealed after the United States’ Chargé d’affaires in New Zealand, Kevin Covert, tweeted the news. The trip appears to have run into some organisational difficulties with meetings not being confirmed. Damien O’Connor says there are no secrets but they do have confirm that the people he wants to meet with agree to those meetings before we announce they are happening. The Minister will attend trade events in Washington, DC, including meeting the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. His European itinerary will include Sweden, France, Ireland and Italy. London is conspicuously absent from the itinerary as he did travel to the UK and EU for trade talks in August. At that stage it was agreed to conclude Free Trade Agreement talks by the end of August. This has not happened and has been complicated by his British counterpart – Trade Secretary Liz Truss moving on from her trade role and having been replaced by Anne-Marie Trevelyan.