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Lowden Guitars – which makes instruments for Ed Sheeran, among others – “could benefit” from the CPTPP deal “to grow their exports to new markets” said the government in a statement this afternoon.
It also said: “CPTPP will support jobs and create opportunities for UK businesses in every part of the UK, from beverage producers in Scotland, to manufacturers of machinery in Wales, to car manufacturers in Northern Ireland and the West Midlands” (though it is not clear which companies it has in mind when it speaks of Northern Irish car-builders).
CPTPP stands for the the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
It represents Britain’s biggest trade deal since leaving the EU, cutting tariffs for UK exporters to a group of nations which account for 15% of global GDP, according to UK officials.
The Prime Minister said it demonstrated how the UK is able to take advantage of its “post-Brexit freedoms” to strike agreements that were impossible when it was in the EU which will drive economic growth across the country.
However critics have said the impact will be limited, with boosting the UK economy by just 0.08%.
Britain is the first new member, and first European nation, to join the bloc – comprising Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – since its formation in 2018.
It follows nearly two years of negotiations, culminating in intensive talks in Vietnam earlier this month, when representatives of all 11 existing members agreed to the UK joining.
While Britain already has trade agreements with most of the CPTPP members, apart from Malaysia, officials said it would deepen existing arrangements, with 99% of UK goods exported to the bloc now eligible for zero tariffs.
Key UK exports to the region, including cheese, cars, chocolate, machinery, gin and whisky, will be among those to benefit, while officials said the services industry would also enjoy reduced red tape and increased market access.