New Zealand's trade minister says he believes there's an odds-on chance that a group of 11 Pacific nations including Japan and Australia will sign a free-trade deal, despite the U.S. pulling out.

Todd McClay said on Thursday the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are committed to completing a deal quickly and with only small changes. He announced that the New Zealand government had approved a mandate for the country to push ahead with negotiations.

But the deal faces many hurdles, including in New Zealand. The opposition Labour Party says that if it wins power when national elections are held next month it will want to renegotiate some of the deal's provisions.

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal immediately after taking office in January.