Britain to seek membership of Pacific trade bloc – but what is it? – The Week (UK)

Credit: Original article can be found here

The UK is pressing ahead with a bid to join a major trade tie-up between countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand after quitting the EU, the government has confirmed.

International Trade secretary Liz Truss said that partnership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was the “next logical step” for post-Brexit Britain, The Times reports.

“I say to our old friends, Britain is back,” Truss added.

Who is in the trading bloc?

The CPTPP is a trading agreement between 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The CPTPP is the third largest free-trade area in the world by GDP, after the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European single market. 

Truss announced in Parliament on Wednesday that trade negotiations with signatories Australia and New Zealand are already under way, amid hopes that deals with the two nations will act as a springboard for joining the wider bloc, PoliticsHome reports.

When was it formed?

The first trans-pacific partnership (TPP) was signed in February 2016. The US was among the signatories, but Donald Trump backed out of the agreement following his subsequent election victory.

All other signatories agreed to revive the deal the year later and reached a new agreement in 2018.

What is the bloc worth?

The trading bloc represents almost 500 million consumers and the combined economies of the member states are worth more than £10tn.

With 99% of tariffs between member states slashed, the partnership’s current economic output accounts for around 13.5% of global GDP.

If the UK joins the partnership, this share of global GDP is expected to rise to about 16%, Reuters reports.