International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said she hopes to conclude negotiations on accession to the Comprehensive and Advanced Agreement (CPTPP) by the end of next year. The £9 trillion block includes Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, as well as Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam.
Ms Truss said negotiations with a bloc of 11 countries were central to the UK government’s trade agenda for “Global Britain” after Brexit.
She stressed that concluding the talks by next year would allow Britain to benefit from the massive economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The minister added: “Two thirds of the world’s middle class will live in Asia by 2030 and the kinds of products they demand are the kinds of things the UK produces – whether it’s high-value goods or high-quality food and drink… and digital products, data products and financial services.”
Ms Truss said Britain should look for jobs outside the European Union as the bloc’s economic size is expected to decline.
A member of the European Parliament in southwest Norfolk explained: “In 20 or 30 years, the EU will be a smaller part of the global economy, and countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, which are part of the CPTPP, will get a larger share.”
Ms Truss had also hoped the US would join the partnership after she left in 2017 to allow a US-UK trade deal.
“The US was one of the TPP’s front pages, and the new administration didn’t want to join in,” Bain Politics added in the podcast.
“But who knows what might happen in the future.”
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To facilitate the accession process, the UK also wants to conclude bilateral trade agreements with CPTPP countries.
Ms. Truss said negotiations with Canada and Mexico were expected to begin in the coming months.
A trade agreement with New Zealand is also expected to be finalized in the coming days.
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