The International Trade Council is pleased to announce that the United Kingdom has signed a deal to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade pact that includes 11 Asia and Pacific nations. This development comes three years after the UK officially left the European Union.
Joining the CPTPP will benefit UK exports by reducing tariffs on goods such as cheese, cars, chocolate, machinery, gin, and whisky. Although government estimates suggest that being part of the bloc will only add 0.08% to the UK's economy, the trade area covers a market of approximately 500 million people.
The CPTPP, established in 2018, includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Membership in the CPTPP will loosen trade restrictions between member nations and reduce tariffs. Together, these 11 members account for about 13% of the world's income, and the UK will be the first European country to join the group.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted the "real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms" and emphasized that the UK is now in a prime position to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth, and innovation. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch likened the agreement to "buying a start-up," stating that the deal is in addition to the existing free trade agreement with the EU and aims to tap into the potential growth in the region.
The International Trade Council looks forward to the opportunities and economic growth that the UK's membership in the CPTPP will bring, as the nation continues to forge new trade relationships and expand its reach in the global economy. The UK and CPTPP members are expected to complete the final legal and administrative steps for the UK to formally sign in 2023.