LONDON (THE PAVLOVIC TODAY)— The United Kingdom has secured an agreement to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade pact consisting of 11 Asian and Pacific nations, including Australia and Japan. The pact aims to make it easier and cheaper for member nations to trade and invest with each other, with the participating countries accounting for one in every eight of the world’s income.
However, the UK’s financial gains from joining may be minor, as it already has free trade deals with most of the member nations. The government estimates that the CPTPP could add just 0.08% of the country’s GDP over a decade, equivalent to an extra 8 pence for every £100 earned. The UK had to navigate issues to join, such as granting access to foreign beef and dairy farmers in UK markets and removing tariffs on Malaysian palm oil, which has been blamed for deforestation.
The deal’s fine print will be closely scrutinized, and hopes for America, the UK’s biggest trading partner, to join the pact have been dashed. Despite the limited financial gains, business groups are broadly supportive of the move, as it could lead to closer ties with some of the fastest-growing nations. The significance of joining the CPTPP for post-Brexit Britain lies more in its strategic value, tilting towards the East rather than Europe. However, the CPTPP is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but rather a potential opportunity for the UK to expand its trade and investment reach.