Negotiations for joining a trans-Pacific trade deal was started by Britain as it views the deal as crucial for its to end its dependence on the European Union in the post-Brexit era and shift towards markets that are geographically more distant but are significantly faster growing,
95 per cent of the tariffs is eliminated between the trading partners of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which includes Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.
Britain wants to get recognised in world trade as a maker and exporter of premium consumer goods and professional services and is thus pinning its hopes on this deal. Britain would be able to supplement trade deals that it is seeking, or has already agreed, with large numbers by getting associated with the deal.
“This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie. We left the EU with the promise of deepening links with old allies and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe,” trade minister Liz Truss said. “It is a glittering post-Brexit prize that I want us to seize.”
Britain is not expecting to see a growth in exports by getting into the CPTPP. But the deal will give it a strong path to access the markets, including for legal, financial and professional services sectors. The deal is also seen by British ministers as an important way to gain influence in a region where China is increasingly the dominant economic force.
No laws are imposed on the members in the CPTPP deal unlike in the European Union, nor does it target to create a a single market or a customs union as well as a wider political integration.
The primary way of the negotiations for securing a membership is to prove to the existing members of the trade deal that the United Kingdom would be able to meet the current tariff removal and trade liberalization standards of the deal and then providing the members with out details of how and when it will do so.
“The CPTPP agreement has strong rules against unfair trade practices like favouring state-owned enterprises, protectionism, discriminating against foreign investors, and forcing companies to hand over private information,” the trade department said in a statement.
“The UK’s joining will strengthen the international consensus against such unfair practices,” it added.
The assessment of the British government about the benefits of its membership to the CPTPP deal are expected to be laid out by the government in published documents very soon. However the government has already indicated that cars and whisky as goods exports would be the major beneficiaries.
The former president of the United States Donald Trump had withdrawn from an earlier planned trans-Pacific trade pact. And during his election campaign, the current US president Joe Biden had talked about the possibility of the US renegotiating the deal. Biden however has not set forth any concrete plans for this since he assumed office.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)