Great Britain Applies to Join the Pacific Free Trade Alliance

The UK applied to join 11 countries, including Australia, in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. (AFP)



The British government wants to find new trading partners after leaving the EU.


One year after Brexit, Great Britain applied to join the trans-Pacific trade agreement CPTPP. The British government had submitted a request to the participating states, wrote the state secretary responsible for international trade Liz Truss on Twitter. The trade agreement brings together some of the "world's fastest growing economies". Accession would create "high quality jobs" in the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also promised the British "enormous economic benefits" from the agreement in advance. Great Britain had already sealed the first major free trade agreement after Brexit with Japan in October. Agreements with Singapore and Vietnam followed in December.

Until now, eleven states belong to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which together represent 13.5 percent of global economic output. The free trade zone created in 2018 includes the markets of Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Japan. With the CPTPP, the Pacific states have simplified trade with one another. Numerous tariffs, for example on agricultural and industrial products, were reduced or abolished entirely. In addition, the agreement regulates many labor law and environmental protection issues as well as conditions for public tenders.

The CPTP is the third world's biggest trade deal among the democratic countries after EU deal with the US, and NAFTA. In November 2020, Communist China and 14 other countries set up the world’s largest trading bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity,

The CPTPP agreement was launched after the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement under then-President Donald Trump. Great Britain left the EU on January 31, 2020. However, the country only managed to agree on new trade relations with the European Union a month ago.

There are still many points of contention and open questions. The agreement with the EU excludes the service sector that is so important for Great Britain. British architects, banks or insurance companies have since then have to apply if they want to be allowed in the EU business.

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