UK joins Indo-Pacific trade bloc amid faltering post-Brexit economy
London's accession to the Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will allow its businesses to gain trade advantages in a 500 million-consumer collective market.
The United Kingdom finalized its accession into a major Indo-Pacific trade bloc as the former EU member looks to expand its business relations beyond its European borders.
A protocol for the Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was inked by British Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch in New Zealand, making Britain the bloc's newest member and the first European nation to join it since its inception in 2018.
The CPTPP comprises G7 countries Canada and Japan, in addition to Australia and New Zealand. Other nations part of the international economic body include Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
While Beijing has submitted an application to join, the coalition shrugged off Beijing's desire as it unofficially sees the Asian giant as its main adversary.
Australian trade assistant minister welcomed the UK becoming the group's 12th member, describing the trans-pacific partnership as “the pre-eminent trade agreement in the world."
“It’s good to have another major economy that’s got a strong track record of complying with WTO rules and is going to measure up to the CPTPP standards,” Tim Ayres said.
On the other hand, Ayres signaled that China's inquiry is currently not being considered.
London has been pushing a "Global Britain" strategy since formally severing nearly 50 years of ties with its nearest neighbors in the European Union three years ago.
The deal was concluded after two years of talks as the UK pushes for its "Global Britain" strategy.
As per the agreement that will go into effect later this year, tariffs for UK exports to CPTPP countries will be significantly slashed
Badenoch described the deal as "a big boost for British businesses," which will not have eased access to global markets with over 500 million consumers.
"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," she said.
The CPTPP bloc will now have a combined worth of over $15 trillion, or 15 percent of world GDP. But this fact did not leave the UK's accession without local criticism by anti-Brexit parties.
They considered that this agreement will not compensate for the benefits London enjoyed when it was part of the EU, which is the world's largest trade bloc and collective economy.
Britain's Office for Budget Responsibility forecasted in April that the Brexit deal will cut long-term productivity by 4 percent compared to when the UK was a member of the 27 bloc union.