Britain aims for trade deal with Pacific nations: Liz Truss will start talks for country to join one of the world’s biggest free-trade areas
- Liz Truss hopes trans-Pacific partnership will ‘pivot away’ UK from Europe
- She will launch the UK’s member bid in video call with her Japanese counterpart
- It is a trade agreement between an area populated by half-a-billion people
Liz Truss will today launch negotiations for Britain to join one of the world’s biggest free-trade areas.
The International Trade Secretary hopes that membership of the trans-Pacific partnership will help the UK ‘pivot away’ from Europe post-Brexit.
She will launch the UK’s bid in a video call with her Japanese counterpart, Yasutoshi Nishimura.
Miss Truss said membership of the bloc, full name the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, will help ‘farmers, makers and innovators’
The partnership is a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The area is populated by half-a-billion people and with a GDP of £9trillion in 2019.
Last night Boris Johnson said membership would ‘open up unparalleled opportunities for British businesses and consumers in the fast-growing Indo-Pacific’.
He added: ‘It’s an exciting opportunity to build on this country’s entrepreneurial spirit and free-trading history to bring economic benefits.’
Miss Truss said membership of the bloc, full name the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, will help ‘farmers, makers and innovators’.
She said: ‘This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie.
‘We left the EU with the promise of deepening links with old allies and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe, and joining the high-standards Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important part of that vision.
‘Membership would help our farmers, makers and innovators sell to some of the biggest economies of the present and future, but without ceding control over our laws, borders or money. It is a glittering post-Brexit prize that I want us to seize.’
Last night Boris Johnson said membership would ‘open up unparalleled opportunities for British businesses and consumers in the fast-growing Indo-Pacific’
A government source said the start of negotiations was ‘a really significant post-Brexit moment’, adding: ‘Alongside the US deal, it’s the really big one Liz wants to land.
‘Joining would help pivot us away from Europe towards faster-growing parts of the world in Asia-Pacific.’
The Government said any deal would help British farmers sell beef and lamb into countries such as Mexico, as CPTPP countries would account for 25 per cent of global import demand for meat by the end of the decade.
Ministers also believe CPTPP membership would lower tariffs on British cars and whisky, with tariff-free trade for 99.9 per cent of exports.