Prime Minister John Key will begin his week-long visit to the US tomorrow, pushing for a seat on the UN security council and holding talks with President Barack Obama.
ONE News political editor Corin Dann is travelling with John Key and says trade and climate change is likely to dominate those talks, as will the renewed presence of the US in the Pacific and Asia.
Trans-Pacific trade talks involving New Zealand, the US and 11 other nations are hanging in the balance ahead of Mr Key's visit.
But University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey says New Zealand should walk away from the trade talks.
"Even if they got the gold plated deal they should walk away, because the cost is still to high for New Zealand," she says.
Any defence talks are likely to centre on the renewed presence of the US in the Asia/Pacific region.
Robert Ayson from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University believes the US wants a firmer statement from Mr Key on increasing tensions in Asia, saying New Zealand had "soft pedalled" on developments in the South China Sea.
President Obama's concern for climate change could also feature because his new push to cut global greenhouse gas emissions may put the spotlight on our climate change credentials and how we compare with other, more sceptical countries like Australia.
Mr Ayson says as long as it's made clear New Zealand does not hold similar sceptical views, "then Mr Key will end up looking in that comparative sense a bit better on climate change".