What is the CPTPP? UK joins trans-Pacific trade pact


he UK has joined the trade group known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), in what has been hailed a “major Brexit victory”.

The UK will join forces with 11 other countries and gain access to a $10 trillion (£8.1tn) market.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said joining the CTPPP demonstrated how the UK is able to take advantage of its “post-Brexit freedoms” to strike agreements that were not possible when it was in the EU.

However, critics say the impact of joining CTPPP will be limited.

Official estimates suggest it will add just £1.8 billion a year to the economy after 10 years, representing less than one per cent of UK GDP.

What is the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Eleven countries have combined to make a group that enjoys a free trade agreement.

The CPTPP covers virtually all sectors and aspects of trade, with its sole aim to reduce red tape, take down trade barriers, and facilitate trade business between member countries.

Between them, the club’s constituents are home to around 500 million people and generate more than 13 per cent of the world’s income.

When was the CPTPP formed?

It was first founded in 2018, with the core members being Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore.

In 2019, Vietnam joined, as did Peru in 2021. Malaysia joined in 2022, while Chile signed up in February 2023.

Why did the UK want to join the CPTPP?

The UK Government wanted to seal a trade deal now it is outside the European Union.

The Government has said joining CPTPP will add even “more economic clout to this exciting and dynamic trade alliance” and allow the country to grow financially while strengthening “our bilateral trade relationships with Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore — which total £32bn”.

Which countries are members of the CPTPP?

The other members of the CPTPP are Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, and Vietnam.

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