International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said she hopes to conclude negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Advanced Agreement (CPTPP) by the end of next year. Members of the £9 trillion bloc include Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, as well as Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam.
Ms Truss said negotiations with the 11-nation bloc were central to the UK government’s global trade agenda after Brexit.
She stressed that concluding talks by next year would allow the UK to benefit from massive economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The minister added: “By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle class will live in Asia and the kind of products they demand are the things Britain produces – whether it’s high-quality manufactured goods, high-quality food and drinks, digital products, data products and financial services.”
Ms Truss said the UK needs to look for jobs outside the EU as the bloc’s economic size will shrink.
“In 20 or 30 years, the EU will have a smaller share of the global economy, and countries like Vietnam or Malaysia that are part of the CPTPP will get a bigger share,” said the Southwest Norfolk MP.
Ms Truss had also hoped the US would join the partnership after she left in 2017 to facilitate a US-UK trade deal.
“The United States was one of the first parties to the TPP, and the new administration has not indicated an interest in joining,” she added on the Payne Politics podcast.
“But who knows what might happen in the future.”
Read more: “Full of bullshit!” The Ministry of Finance responds once again to the recent SNP attack on the Union
To facilitate the accession process, the UK is also seeking bilateral trade agreements with CPTPP countries.
Ms. Truss said negotiations with Canada and Mexico should begin in the coming months.
A trade agreement with New Zealand is also expected in the coming days.
Unapologetic alcohol teacher. Zombie excited. Online nerd. Nice reader. Dedicate Twitter Muffin
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media ninja. Unapologetic web guru. Friendly music fan. Alcohol fanatic.”