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This is said to be able to boost UK exports by slashing tariffs on goods, but the government’s own estimates show that it will only add 0.08% to the UK economy.
The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between 11 countries around the Pacific Rim – Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.
Responding to the trade agreement, NFU president, Minette Batters, said joining the CPTPP could ‘provide some good opportunities’ to get more British food on plates overseas and that compared to deals struck with Australia and New Zealand, government had negotiated ‘a far more considered and balanced outcome’.
“I will continue to press government to ensure its domestic policies are aimed at improving the competitiveness of British farming and strengthening our domestic food security,” Mrs Batters said.
“Progress by the farming industry progress was made with the establishment of the Trade and Agriculture Commission, but alongside this a set of ‘core standards’ for food imports were called for. The government still has not acted on this, which is a concern shared by bodies across the farming, animal welfare and environmental sectors.”
READ MORE: Badenoch downplays claims UK-Asia trade pact will only boost economy by 0.08%
Mrs Batters added that it was ‘an absolute red line’ for food produced to lower standards to be imported into the UK. “For instance, the use of hormones in beef and pork production and chemical washes for carcases – should not be allowed on our market,” she said.
Australia and New Zealand had already been granted unlimited access, phased in over time, to the UK’s prized agri-food market for a range of products. Now the CPTPP countries, including major agricultural exporters such as Canada, Mexico and Chile, will also be able to access that further under preferential terms of trade.
For the UK, there could be opportunities to grow dairy exports to the Americas, poultry to Vietnam, and sheep meat to Malaysia.