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UK to start talks on joining trans-Pacific trade pact By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Britain’s Secretary-General for International Development) is seen outside Downing Street London on Tuesday, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will begin talks on Tuesday with the 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive (NYSE:) Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to join the pact it regards as important part of its future post-Brexit trade plans.

CPTPP’s trade pact eliminates 95% of the tariffs that are imposed on its members. They include Japan (Canada, Australia), Vietnam, New Zealand and Singapore.

Britain hopes that it can create its own niche in global trade by exporting premium consumer goods as well as professional services. The pact could be added to trade agreements London has made with other larger countries.

Other members of the pact have already met to discuss Britain’s application, but Tuesday’s virtual meeting will see British attendance at the CPTPP’s UK Accession Working Group, chaired by Japan, for the first time.

“This is a big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP, which will allow us to forge stronger links both with old friends and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said in a statement.

The current CPTPP format would add 1.8 million pounds (or $22.5 billion) to the British economic long-term. That’s less than 0.1% pre-pandemic gross internal product according to British modelling.

It provides a limited benefit for both exports and economic growth. However, it also locks in access to markets for legal and financial services. Ministers view this as a valuable way of gaining influence in a growing China-dominated region.

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