British Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch is set to attend a meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. This marks the United Kingdom's inaugural participation in a CPTPP meeting following its accession to the trade bloc in July.
Notably, the United States has not received an invitation to the CPTPP meeting. U.S. officials confirmed that they had no immediate information about the gathering, emphasizing that Washington had not been included in the discussions.
The CPTPP, a free trade agreement established in 2018, comprises 11 member countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. It emerged after the withdrawal of the United States from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the previous Trump administration. The United Kingdom holds the distinction of being the sole European member of CPTPP and is the first new entrant since its formation in 2018.
An official from the UK government highlighted the significance of joining CPTPP, stating, "Joining CPTPP will link the UK to some of the world's most dynamic economies, a club that is worth £12 trillion ($14.99 trillion) of gross domestic product."
Details regarding the specifics of the CPTPP meeting and the participating countries have not been disclosed at this time.
Several nations, including China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Taiwan, have expressed interest in joining the trade pact, while South Korea, Thailand, and Ukraine are contemplating membership. Despite some calls from lawmakers, the United States has reiterated its lack of interest in becoming a member and is instead promoting its own initiative, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).