UK begins talks to join trans-Pacific trade bloc

Britain first applied to join CPTPP in February and formal talks begin on Tuesday

The UK will on Tuesday begin its first round of official talks on joining a trans-Pacific trade bloc.

An online meeting will take place between the UK and all 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.

British International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan described the talks as a “big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP”.

The pact is a free-trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The UK applied to join in February, and in June the bloc announced that the accession process would begin.

The first meeting of its UK Accession Working Group will begin online on September 28, the Department for International Trade said. It said other members had previously met to discuss the UK’s application.

“This is a big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP, which will allow us to forge stronger links both with old friends and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies," Ms Trevelyan said.

“Joining this high-standards partnership will provide real opportunities for UK exporters and service providers and help our innovators open up new, diverse markets.

“Seizing opportunities like this is exactly what Global Britain is about and will help bring high-quality jobs and prosperity to every region of our country.”

UK Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt will make an official visit to Chile and Peru.

She is due to meet Chile’s Minister of Agriculture Maria Emilia Undurraga and her Peruvian equivalent Roberto Sanchez, as well as businesses from the region, her department said.

Ms Mordaunt said she would use the visit to “explore deeper trade and investment ties with both countries”.

Updated: September 27th 2021, 11:01 PM