The United Kingdom is submitting an application on Monday to join the CPTPP trading bloc, the British government said on Saturday. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, participation will bring economic benefits to the British population.
“A year after our departure from the EU, we are establishing new partnerships that will bring enormous economic benefits to the British people,” Johnson said in a statement.
The government argues that joining the free trade agreement, of which all other participating countries are located around the Pacific, will remove import duties on food and cars. At the same time, it also stimulates the technology and services sector.
British Trade Secretary Liz Truss speaks with her colleagues in Japan and New Zealand on Monday about a formal request to join the CPTPP, the statement said.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was concluded in 2018. It originated as a further development of the TPP treaty, in which the United States would also participate. However, in 2017, then US President Donald Trump decided that the US would not participate after all.
The CPTPP agreement is currently in force in Mexico, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Vietnam. Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru have yet to ratify the treaty. Truss previously called the CPTPP area “one of the most dynamic free trade areas in the world”.