Recently, in April 2023 the United Kingdom has joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trading bloc of 11 countries.
- The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile. It is one of the biggest trading blocs in the world, worth 15% of global GDP once the UK joins.
- The UK is the first European country to join the agreement, and the largest economy after Japan.
- The UK already had bilateral trade agreements with all countries in the CPTPP bar Brunei and Malaysia, some of which had been carried over from its EU membership.
- The UK government’s own estimate says the reduced red tape and improved market access will boost GDP by 1.8 billion-0.8%-over 10 years
- The CPTPP started life as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with the US negotiating to join under President Obama. This would have made the club the world’s largest free trade deal.
- But in 2017, Trump withdrew from the deal on his first day in office. The remaining countries continued talks, eventually signing the CPTPP in March 2018.