UK to Start First Round of Talks on Joining Trans-Pacific Trade Bloc

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United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The United Kingdom will on Tuesday begin its first round of official talks on joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a major free-trade bloc made up of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, the UK Department for International Trade announced.

“Joining this high-standards partnership will provide real opportunities for UK exporters and service providers and help our innovators open up new, diverse markets,” newly appointed International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan was quoted as saying.

Trevelyan, who replaced Liz Truss in the government reshuffle made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson a few weeks ago, argued that Tuesday’s virtual meting is a “big milestone” in the UK’s path to joining the CPTPP.

Following its departure from the European Union on December, 2020, the UK government immediately applied to join the free trade agreement and although the other 11 members have already discussed the UK application, Tuesday’s will be the first with the UK also taking part.

The CPTPP is a free trade agreement that lowered tariffs and other trade barriers on a wide range of products among 10 countries of Asia and Oceania, and Canada. The agreement came into force on December 30, 2018, when its first six parties ratified the deal. Initially, the trade deal was expected to cover 40% of the global economy but failed to achieve it as the United States withdrew from the agreement in 2017.

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