UK one step closer to joining CPTPP

UK one step closer to joining CPTPP

The UK is closer to becoming part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as the Government has reportedly completed the latest required step in the joining process.

Greg Hands, Trade Policy Minister. | Picture: UK Parliament.

Government said that joining CPTPP – which will account for 15% of global GDP with the UK included – means over 99% of current UK goods exports to CPTPP members will be eligible for tariff-free trade. It also said that with “500 million consumers in some of the world’s largest current and future economies, the potential for increased trade is huge”.

The announcement follows the news of the ratification of a set of arrangements ensuring meat from partners of the Free Trade Agreement is covered by UK tariff rate quotas.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch signed the deal last July to join the CPTPP, a “modern, ambitious trade pact” spanning 12 economies across Asia, the Pacific and now Europe.

Only six economies, in addition to the UK, need to ratify by October for the deal to enter into force by the end of the year. Those already ratified include Singapore, Japan and Chile, with other countries in the works.

Minister for Trade Policy Greg Hands said: “The UK has been racing to get our ratification done because we know how much CPTPP will benefit British businesses, whether through access to new markets or cutting red tape on existing exports.

“I’m delighted we were able to bring this forward, ahead of our original July forecast, so we can get the countdown to Entry into Force going as soon as possible.”

Minister Hands also welcomed the conclusion of negotiations on a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) which will protect businesses from being taxed twice – once in Peru and again in the UK, or vice versa.

Reducing costs and “providing certainty”, said Government, it is a “major win” for businesses in both countries and will “provide opportunities for substantial increases” in bilateral trade and investment”.

Establishing worldwide supply chains

The UK intends to be an “influential member” of CPTPP, and is involved in meetings and discussions with CPTPP Parties on the future of the agreement. Peru, a member of the trade bloc, is a longstanding trading partner for the UK, with bilateral trade worth £1.8 billion last year.

William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “There are few multi-national trade agreements like this one. The UK’s addition to this bloc will open up new opportunities for both inward and outward investment.

“Trade rules will be more favourable for manufacturers looking to sell products to other member countries and data transfers for firms in the services sector will also be more straightforward.

“Crucially, it will also give the UK a say in the bloc’s future development, making it a deal that will work for our traders both now and in the future.”

Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade said: “The ratification of CPTPP marks an important stage in the UK’s trading future. British businesses now have tariff-free access to some of fastest growing markets in the world to sell our goods and our world leading services. This is an opportunity which can help reshape the UK economy.

“At a time when global trade has been weaponised, this partnership can help the UK establish resilient and robust supply chains across Southeast Asia, Central and South America. In a world of growing geo-political uncertainty, the expanding trading community of CPTPP nations offers an important counterpoint. 

“Now CPTPP is ratified the real work begins to make sure businesses understand how to take advantage of the immense opportunities for UK services and goods in CPTPP nations. There is a great opportunity for UK businesses to grow.”

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