Britain begins negotiations to join Trans-Pacific trade deal

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LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) – Britain will begin negotiations on Tuesday to join a trans-Pacific trade deal it sees crucial for its post-Brexit distance from Europe to geographically more distant but faster growing economies.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) removes 95% of tariffs between its members: Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.

Britain hopes to carve out a niche in world trade as an exporter of high-end consumer goods and professional services. Joining the pact would complement trade deals London is seeking or already has with larger members.

“This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie. We left the EU on the promise of deepening our ties with former allies and fast-growing consumer markets in the world. beyond Europe, ”said Trade Minister Liz Truss. “It’s a sparkling post-Brexit price that I want us to grab.”

The CPTPP is not expected to lead to a sharp increase in UK exports. But it locks down market access, including for the legal, financial and professional services sectors, and is seen by ministers as an important way to gain influence in a region where China is increasingly the economic force. dominant.

Unlike the European Union, the CPTPP does not impose laws on its members, it does not aim to create a single market or customs union, and it does not seek broader political integration.

ABOLITION OF TARIFFS

Much of the membership negotiation process is about proving to existing members that Britain can meet the group’s standards for tariff removal and trade liberalization, and then specifying how and when to do so. will.

“The CPTPP agreement contains strict rules against unfair business practices such as favoring state-owned enterprises, protectionism, discrimination against foreign investors and forcing companies to provide private information,” the commerce department said. in a press release.

“The UK’s membership will strengthen the international consensus against such unfair practices,” he added.

The government is expected to release documents on Tuesday outlining its assessment of the benefits of membership, but highlighted cars and whiskey as merchandise exports that would benefit.

The United States has withdrawn from a previously planned trans-Pacific trade pact under President Donald Trump. His successor, Joe Biden, raised before his election last November the possibility of renegotiating the deal, but has not presented any firm plan since taking office.

Reporting by William James Editing by Gareth Jones

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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