UK to apply to join trans-Pacific free trade partnership – The Brussels Times

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The United Kingdom is to apply on Monday to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), one of the world’s biggest free-trade areas.

Making the announcement on Saturday, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss added that negotiations between Britain and the CPTPP should begin this year.

The CPTPP is made up of 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

“One year after our departure from the EU, we are forging new partnerships that will bring enormous economic benefits for the people of Britain,” U.K. Prime Minister Johnson said.

“Applying to be the first new country to join the CPTPP demonstrates our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and partners all over the world and be an enthusiastic champion of global free trade.”

Ms. Truss mentioned that CPTPP membership would provide “enormous opportunities” for British businesses. “It will mean lower tariffs for car manufacturers and whisky producers, and better access for our brilliant services providers, delivering quality jobs and greater prosperity for people here at home,” she said.

“We’re at the front of the queue and look forward to starting formal negotiations in the coming months,” the minister added.

The CPTPP was launched in 2019 with the aim of eliminating barriers to trade between its 11 member countries, which represent 500 consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.

Also aimed at countering China’s increasing economic influence, it is the new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was abandoned by Donald Trump.

The Brussels Times