UK to submit formal request to join trans-Pacific free trade area

The UK will shortly submit its formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trading bloc, trade secretary Liz Truss announced on Wednesday.

The CPTPP is a trading bloc established in 2018 between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

“We will shortly submit our formal request to join this free trade area”, Truss said in a speech to the to the City & Financial Global conference this morning.

“The benefits are there to see, whether it is the deeper access to nearly £9 trillion of GDP covered by its members, the modern rules of origin, the 95% tariff-free trade on goods traded between members from cars to seafood, or the modern standards in services, data and digital trade.

“These modern standards would play to the UK’s strengths as a global hub for services and technology trade.

“We are already the second largest exporter of services globally, and third in the world for billion dollar “tech unicorn” success stories.

“Together, we can help set the standard for trade in the 21st century, promote higher standards in green trade and pile pressure on the World Trade Organisation to reform.”

The trade secretary described the CPTPP as “one of the world’s most dynamic trading areas” and expressed her delight that key member Japan, alongside others such as Chile and New Zealand are “ready to welcome the UK into the fold”.