The United Kingdom will join the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the end of 2022, estimated the secretary of International Trade of that country, Liz Truss.
To begin with, in June 2021, the United Kingdom began negotiations to join the TIPAT and reached a preliminary agreement for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia, after signing FTAs with Japan, Singapore and Vietnam in 2020.
Earlier in May 2021, the UK and India announced a ‘Roadmap 2030’ guiding cooperation for a comprehensive strategic partnership, including an enhanced trade partnership and the intention to negotiate a FTA.
According to the Japanese media Nippon, as many members of the CPTPP have already signed bilateral trade agreements with the United Kingdom, no «major obstacles» are expected in the accession talks.
The UK’s share, if realized, will raise the bloc’s share of global economic output to 16% from the current 13%.
The British government submitted an application in February to join the CPTPP.
In fact, the UK is the first candidate for membership outside of the original participating members.
Also China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have expressed interest in joining the free trade bloc.
Nippon explained that the block in force since 2018 currently has a total population of about 500 million, surpassing that of the European Union (448 million).
The pact aimed at creating a free trade zone in the Pacific was originally promoted by the United States under the Barack Obama administration in an attempt to balance China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
But President Donald Trump, who openly expressed his preference for bilateral trade agreements and not multilateral frameworks under his so-called «America First» policy, withdrew from the TPP (which later became the CPTPP) shortly after taking office position in 2017.