Speaking to the Sunday Express, international trade Liz Truss hailed her trade deal with Australia this week as a key part of Britain joining the £ 9 trillion Global and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) composed of 11 countries including Canada and Japan. She made it clear that this was the first part of the shift in Britain’s international focus from a Eurocentric focus to an embrace of the rest of the world. The minister believes that a 65% increase in trade with CPTPP countries over the next decade is within the grasp of Britain.
She also said a deal with New Zealand, another CPTPP member, was only months away from being concluded, while experts told the Sunday Express that another with Canada would likely be signed next year.
Ms Truss said: “The agreement with Australia paves the way for us to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will help our farmers and businesses reach some of the world’s largest and most dynamic markets. The Asia-Pacific is where the richest opportunities lie for global Britain. “
Lobbyists for farmers and former Remain supporters with the EU tried this week to attack the trade deal with Australia.
And the TUC sent a briefing to the media and politicians saying membership in the CPTPP would be bad for Britain.
Sources close to Ms Truss noted that the very people who attacked Brexit for its ‘parochialism and withdrawal’ are now attacking it for having a global perspective.
“We engage and consult widely before, during and after negotiations. The idea that the CPTPP will undermine workers or harm Britain is nonsense – total alarm. Funny how people who have complained that Britain is turned in on itself and on the defensive after Brexit are now complaining that it is global, ”said the source close to the Secretary of International Trade.
According to the Department of International Trade (DIT), the Australia deal, reached this week, and the New Zealand deal, which could be concluded in the coming months, are key stepping stones to the larger CPTTP trading area – which covers £ 9 trillion in GDP and over half a billion consumers.
It has 11 member countries, from former allies like Canada and Australia, to huge economies like Japan and fast growing Asian markets like Malaysia and Vietnam.
If Britain joins, the country will get all the benefits of being in a modern free trade zone with lower tariffs for exports like whiskey and cars; better access for our services and technology companies.
But unlike the EU, Britain would not have to cede control of its laws, borders or money and would retain all of our regulatory sovereignty or accept the free movement of people.
Formal negotiations are expected to be launched shortly, with a full economic impact assessment. Parliament will be able to consider the agreement when it is signed.
The source close to Ms Truss said: ‘Joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership is one of the greatest opportunities of Brexit. Liz sees it as the glittering grand commercial prize. It’s a £ 9 trillion free trade area, but membership doesn’t require us to give up sovereignty or lose control of our laws, borders or money like we have made with the EU.
“We want and must be a country that looks far beyond Europe and has closer ties to old friends in the Commonwealth and the rapidly growing markets of the Asia-Pacific. Pivoting Britain to Asia Pacific will help secure our future and boost our economy, and that’s what we’re focused on. “
Even before a trade deal, CPTPP countries accounted for £ 110 billion in UK trade in 2019, and UK trade with CPTPP member countries has grown by 8% per year for the past five years.
The CPTPP also contains some of the fastest growing economies, and UK government projections indicate UK exports to these countries could increase by 65% by 2030, from £ 57bn to £ 94bn. .
Membership could also see 99.9% of UK exports eligible for duty-free trade with CPTPP countries. UK manufacturers will also benefit from greater choice and lower prices on inputs from CPTPP countries.
Matt Kilcoyne of the Adam Smith Institute said: “It has been clarified that this bilateral agreement is part of a process that will allow the UK to join the broader CPTPP.
“We are committed to removing barriers to trade without joining political unions. Joining this will show the EU that you can have free trade without signing up to political agendas.
“It’s about showing that you can trust the legal systems of friendly foreign nations. This allows the UK to continue to be at the forefront of emerging technology markets while being a bulwark against US and Chinese expansion. “
He added: “We will have New Zealand by the end of this year and Canada by the middle of next year. Once that happens, all of Canzuk’s countries will have a good basis to come together and formalize on a multilateral basis. “
Australian Senator Eric Abetz, member of the International Parliamentary Alliance on China, said: “We were the first country to come up with a post-Brexit deal in the UK, and this is very important from a point of view. commercial view. We feel that a wrong has been righted since the UK dumped us in favor of the EU.
“In terms of agricultural work, financial services, telecommunications and professional services, this offers many opportunities for people in our two countries. “