The United Kingdom has this week begun talks on joining the trans-Pacific free trade bloc Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam are the eleven CPTPP members. The original trade pact was signed in 2018 in Chile. These talks will be taking place as part of the CPTPP UK Accession Working Group.
Non-UK CPTPP have already held separate meetings to discuss the UK’s accession to the bloc, however this is the first discussion group involving UK representatives. The talks will trigger a series of negotiations on the subject of the UK’s admittance to the partnership. CPTPP as a trading bloc had a combined GDP of £9 trillion in 2018, and the countries are home to 500 million people. It is an important trading group which comprises some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.
Accession to the bloc would lead to tariff-free trade for 99.9% of UK exports, including food, drink, cars. It would ultimately lead to the supporting and creating of high-value jobs across the UK. Joining this high-standards partnership will provide real opportunities for UK exporters and service providers and help our innovators open up new, diverse markets”, said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Secretary for International Trade.
The Working Group’s initial discussion will focus on how the UK meets the standards set out in the CPTPP agreement.