UK continues talks to join Pacific trade partnership

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LONDON (AP) – The UK on Tuesday launched negotiations to join a trade partnership in and around the Pacific Ocean, as it explores new opportunities around the world after leaving the European Union.

The UK government has said negotiating teams will work over the next few months to join the Comprehensive and Progressive 11-Country Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is home to around half a billion people.

He says joining the free trade area would strengthen ties with fast-growing economies in Asia-Pacific and the Americas, including Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam. He pointed to digital, services and finance as sectors that stand to gain from a trade deal, which he says should mean duty-free trade for 99.9% of exports.

“Joining the CPTTP free trade partnership would open up unprecedented opportunities for British businesses and consumers in the fast growing Indo-Pacific,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “This is an exciting opportunity to build on this country’s entrepreneurial spirit and free trade history to bring economic benefits to the whole of the UK. “

The CPTTP is a much more flexible arrangement than the European Union, which the UK officially left last year, as it does not include any political integration. After the conclusion of a transition period which was supposed to facilitate the departure of the United Kingdom, the country is now in a position to negotiate its own trade agreements. Last week, the UK government negotiated the outline of a trade deal with Australia that will see tariffs on a range of products phased out over the next few years.

The United States, the world’s largest economy, is not part of the partnership; Former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from his predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His successor, Joe Biden, has previously indicated he is keen to join the group but has yet to set any substantial plans since taking office in January.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is not one of them either.

The UK government has said the CPTPP countries accounted for around 110 billion pounds ($ 153 billion) of UK trade in 2019. While substantial, this amount is about six times less than the UK’s business with the UK. EU.

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