A ‘big milestone’ as UK starts talks on £9 trillion trade pact


The UK is holding its first round of negotiations with the 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) today.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam all make up the CPTPP, which accounts for 15 percent of global trade.

International Trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan described the talks as a “big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP”.

The UK officially submitted an application to join the group in February, with members agreeing to proceed with accession talks now.

Joining the CPTPP could see 99.9% of UK exports being eligible for tariff-free trade with CPTPP members and secure lower tariffs for exports such as whisky and cars, which are in high demand in the Pacifc region as 65% of the world’s 5.4 billion middle class consumers are expected to be in Asia by 2030.

CPTPP countries are also projected to account for 25% of global import demand for meat products by the end of the decade which could for example mean more British beef and lamb to countries like Vietnam and Mexico.

CPTPP would also greatly benefit Britain as the world’s second-largest services exporter. It would make travel easier for business people moving between CPTPP countries, and goes further in areas of key UK interest, with advanced provisions that facilitate digital trade. Joining would help the UK’s cutting-edge tech sector go global and enable more financial and professional services markets to be opened up.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“This is a big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP, which will allow us to forge stronger links both with old friends and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

“Joining this high-standards partnership will provide real opportunities for UK exporters and service providers and help our innovators open up new, diverse markets.

“Seizing opportunities like this is exactly what Global Britain is about and will help bring high-quality jobs and prosperity to every region of our country.”

Joining the trade group is a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strategic vision for a “Global Britain.”

According to the Department of International Trade:

“Joining CPTPP puts Britain at the heart of a dynamic group of countries, as the world economy increasingly centres on the Pacifc region. And as these economies grow, it is even more important that the UK is in a free trade agreement with them, so that we beneft from this growth. UK exports to current CPTPP countries are already set to increase by 65% by 2030, equating to £37 billion.”

“Joining CPTPP is expected to boost this growth even further, which means supporting more UK jobs.

“The more CPTPP expands, the greater the benefits to the UK. And expansion is in its DNA – economies including the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and Republic of Korea have all expressed an interest in joining. That’s why we want a seat at the table now, as the frst new member. Then we can help shape its future development as it grows.”

Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.

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