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Hanoi (VNA) – The UK made a formal request on February 1 to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the first accession application by a member outside the 11 participating Pacific countries since the trade deal came into force in 2018.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss voiced the request in a videoconference with New Zealand’s Trade Minister Damien O’Connor and Japan’s minister in charge of CPTPP negotiations Nishimura Yasutoshi.
Japan and other signatories have welcomed the new development, seeing it as an impetus to expanding free trade based on high-standard investment and trade rules. The UK is expected to enter talks with CPTPP members in the spring.
Japan assumes the presidency of the CPTPP’s decision-making body this year, while New Zealand is responsible for receiving accession requests as the depositary for the trade pact.
Once the decision-making body approves the start of the process for the UK’s entry, a working-level group will be set up to proceed with accession talks.
In the negotiations, the UK will need to show that it can comply with CPTPP rules, while entering tariff negotiations on a bilateral basis with the current 11 members.
Its accession will ultimately need to be approved by consensus at the decision-making body.
China, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China) and Thailand have also expressed interest in joining the CPTPP.