UK signs ‘biggest trade deal’ since Brexit: What is the CPTPP?

The United Kingdom officially joined a significant Indo-Pacific alliance on Sunday, completing what it called the largest trade agreement since the country’s 2020 EU exit.
In Auckland, New Zealand, business minister Kemi Badenoch signed the accession protocol for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The UK’s doors are open for business, as evidenced by our participation in this innovative, smart, and forward-looking bloc, according to Badenoch.
Later, she told Sky News that other nations are lining up to join the treaty and that it gives Britain “a seat at the table in the fastest-growing region.”
According to a government analysis quoted by the BBC, the agreement would eventually increase UK exports by 1.7 billion pounds (€1.9 billion, $2.23 billion), imports by 1.6 billion pounds, and GDP by £1.8 billion pounds. In the second part of 2024, the accord is anticipated to go into force.
A historic trade agreement known as the CPTPP was reached in 2018 and removes trade restrictions between 11 nations, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The agreement calls for nations to commit firmly to opening services and investment markets and to abolish or significantly lower tariffs.
Additionally, it has regulations governing intellectual property rights, competition, and foreign company protections. Although Beijing, Taiwan, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ecuador have all applied to join, the CPTPP is viewed as a defence against China’s hegemony in the region.
Politicians from a number of nations, including the UK and Australia, are attempting to persuade Beijing to block Taiwan from entering while Beijing is fighting to keep China out.
The CPTTP, according to the UK government, will lower tariffs for UK exports to Asia Pacific nations. With the UK as a member, the trading bloc’s combined GDP will reach 12 trillion pounds, accounting for 15% of world trade.
After Brexit in 2020, Britain is eager to strengthen commercial connections in the Pacific.
Since leaving the EU’s single market and customs union after nearly 50 years, London has been promoting a “Global Britain” agenda. Instead, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was negotiated by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Following Brexit, the UK has sought out new trade agreements with nations and commercial blocs that, according to the government, are seeing faster economic growth than the EU. The United States has stated that further economic liberalisation with Britain is presently off the table, thus London will likely struggle to reach free trade agreements with powerful nations like China in the near future.
Critics claim that the CPTTP and other agreements will find it difficult to make up for the economic losses incurred by leaving the EU, which currently has 27 members and is the greatest trade bloc and economy in the world.
The Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s spending watchdog, predicts that Brexit will cause a 4% decline in the UK’s long-term productivity.
Ten of the other eleven CPTPP members have trade agreements with the UK already, and the eventual economic impact is only expected to enhance GDP by 0.08% annually.
42% of all UK exports, or 340 billion pounds worth of goods and services, were sent to the EU in 2022. According to Badenoch, growth will continue until the middle of the century and by about 2030, the Indo-Pacific region would account for half of world growth.
Members of the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact stated that they were gathering information on nations interested in signing up for the agreement to determine whether they could live up to the bloc’s “high standards.”
“The membership is currently undertaking an information-gathering process on whether aspirant economies can meet the CPTPP’s high standards, taking into account their experience on their trade commitments,” the participants said in a joint statement.

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