Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch has signed a treaty formally confirming the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
As covered in the May issue of Logistics Manager Magazine, the UK began negotiations to join the CPTPP in June 2021, with membership agreed in April 2023. In Auckland, New Zealand, Badenoch joined trade ministers from CPTPP member countries in putting pen to paper to finalise the agreement to join.
Whilst over in Auckland, Badenoch said: “I’m delighted to be here in New Zealand to sign a deal that will be a big boost for British businesses and deliver billions of pounds in additional trade, as well as open up huge opportunities and unparalleled access to a market of over 500 million people.
“We are using our status as an independent trading nation to join an exciting, growing, forward-looking trade bloc, which will help grow the UK economy and build on the hundreds of thousands of jobs CPTPP-owned businesses already support up and down the country.”
The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between 11 countries (12 including the UK). The agreement was signed by all 11 founding member countries on 8 March 2018 but has come into effect at different times in some countries. It came into force on 30 December 2018 for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore, later followed by Vietnam, Peru, Malaysia, Chile, and Brunei.
The UK will be the first non-founding member of the CPTPP, as well as the first European member.
Now the agreement has been signed, final legislative processes can begin in the UK and other CPTPP countries. The agreement still needs to ratified by the UK government and is expected to come into force in 2024.
With the CPTPP eliminating tariffs on UK exports such as cars, machinery, and alcohol to member countries, this could open new opportunities for supply chains to expand in the Indo-Pacific region.
Despite the government’s enthusiasm about this news, the economic impact of the UK’s accession to the CPTPP has been met with heavy scepticism. Time will tell what the UK economy can gain from this agreement and to what extent UK businesses will take advantage of it in their own global supply chains.
Click here to read more about the CPTPP from the May issue of Logistics Manager Magazine!