UK signs membership in Trans-Pacific Free Trade Partnership

Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, Vietnam's Trade and Industry Minister Nguyen Hong Dien and British Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch on the day where Britain signs the Treaty of Accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in Auckland, New Zealand on July 16, 2023.

The UK is the first country in Europe to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CCTPP). The British government announced the signing, on Sunday July 16, in New Zealand of its membership of the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Partnership, its most important trade agreement since Brexit but put into perspective by economists.

The CPTPP (for “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership”) will thus include twelve countries, for a gross domestic product (GDP) of 12,000 billion pounds sterling (14,000 billion euros), according to a press release from the ministry. of British trade. The bloc brings together 500 million inhabitants and 15% of world GDP with the United Kingdom.

Once accession is signed, the British government will have to ratify it, which will involve a parliamentary stage, while the other acceding countries will continue their own legislative process, according to the press release. Quoted in this press release, the Minister of Commerce, Kemi Badenoch, highlighted the ‘billion pounds of additional trade’ for UK businesses.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, she said: [L’adhésion de Londres au CPTPP montre que] we are not isolated [, que] the UK is looking outward”. “We have a headquarters in the fastest growing region of the world”she said.

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When announcing the agreement to join the CPTPP at the end of March, the British government put forward the fact that the contribution to the British economy would reach 1.8 billion pounds sterling (2, 45 billion euros). In a document published in June 2021, the executive estimated the fallout at 0.08% of its GDP.

Boosting its international trade

Since its effective exit from the European Union (EU) and the European single market on 1er January 2021, the United Kingdom is seeking to forge all-out trade agreements to boost its international trade.

London has notably concluded commercial treaties with the EU and other European states, but also with more distant countries such as Australia, New Zealand or Singapore. Discussions are underway with India or Canada.

On the other hand, the long-awaited agreement with the United States is long overdue, Kemi Badenoch acknowledging that the chances of achieving it are “very weak”. “The United States does not enter into a free trade agreement with any country”but “It all depends on the administration” American, continued the minister on Sky News, “Different presidents have different priorities”.

While Brexit advocates point out that it allows London to strike free trade deals independently, its opponents argue that the UK will struggle to compensate for the damage caused by leaving the EU.

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In April, the budget forecasting body OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) estimated that the trade deal with the EU would lower long-term productivity by 4% compared to when the UK was part of the EU.

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Signed notably by New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Japan, the CPTPP is the most important free trade pact in the region. China applied in 2021, but several countries view this request with a dim view.

Former US President Donald Trump announced, at the beginning of 2017, his country’s withdrawal from this agreement, to which his country had initially adhered, even before its entry into force – which has been taking place in stages since December 2018.

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The World with AFP


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