The government has launched the UK’s bid to join the Trans-Pacific trading bloc, an economic zone worth more than £9tr.
Talks have opened today with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership nations (you’ll be glad to know there’s a handy acronym, CPTPP), currently comprising of 11 countries.
The deal could mean tariff-free trade for almost all exports with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Boris Johnson commented on the commencement of talks that: “Membership of the CPTTP free-trade partnership would open up unparalleled opportunities for British businesses and consumers in the fast-growing Indo-Pacific.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to build on this country’s entrepreneurial spirit and free-trading history to bring economic benefits across the whole of the UK.”
International trade secretary Liz Truss followed on by saying: “This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie.
“We left the EU with the promise of deepening links with old allies and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe, and joining the high-standards Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important part of that vision.”
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“Membership would help our farmers, makers and innovators sell to some of the biggest economies of the present and future, but without ceding control over our laws, borders or money. It is a glittering post-Brexit prize that I want us to seize.”
Talks get underway just days after the new trade agreement with Australia was signed.