UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – The United Kingdom is poised to sign a Pacific trade agreement in Auckland next weekend, marking its formal entry as the first new member since the framework’s inception. This development has shifted the focus towards a list of other applicant countries, with China leading the pack.
According to a press release from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the signing ceremony will occur during a ministerial meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). New Zealand will host this significant event, scheduled to take place on July 15 and 16.
UK Signs Bilateral Free Trade Agreement In New Zealand
“The membership of the United Kingdom in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) complements our existing bilateral Free Trade Agreement, guaranteeing unparalleled market access for New Zealand exporters to the world’s sixth-largest economy,” stated Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, in a recent press release.
Following the UK’s application in 2021, China is now the next applicant in line to join the CPTPP. This move comes as the agreement was initially conceived as a means to counterbalance China’s escalating influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
China Next On The List Of Applicants To Join The Group
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was initially perceived as a means to counterbalance China’s escalating influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, in 2017, former US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, significantly diminishing its scale and leaving Japan as the dominant economy within the pact. Consequently, Tokyo persistently urges the US to rejoin the CPTPP.
China is now poised to become the next member of this alliance, having submitted its application shortly after the United Kingdom in 2021. Following China, other countries such as Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ukraine have also expressed their interest in joining the CPTPP.
The current members of the bloc include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. According to the International Monetary Fund, the bloc, which is home to 500 million people, will represent 15 percent of global GDP once the UK joins.
What Happened To The Free Trade Deal Between US and UK?
The policy priorities in the United States have undergone a significant shift in recent times. According to Emanuel Adam, the executive director of British American Business, a trans-Atlantic trade association, the country has veered away from the traditional notion of free trade agreements.
While the United Kingdom faced challenges in holding former US President Donald Trump accountable for his promise of a substantial trade agreement during his tenure in the White House, the situation hasn’t improved with President Biden in charge.
Protectionist trade policies that prioritize American interests continue to dominate. Furthermore, Biden’s frustration with London’s inability to resolve the Irish issue following Brexit has also influenced the current state of affairs.
Free Trade Deals UK Has Signed So Far
In 2020, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union, thereby exiting both the single market and customs union. Prior to Brexit, the UK was automatically included in any trade agreements the EU established with other nations.
However, following its departure, the UK has successfully negotiated trade deals with a total of 71 countries. These agreements often involve rollover arrangements, which essentially maintain the previous trade relationships the UK had as an EU member.
One noteworthy achievement in the UK’s post-Brexit trade journey is the signing of a momentous free trade deal with Japan in October 2020. This landmark agreement not only symbolizes the UK’s resilience and determination but also serves as a testament to its ability to thrive outside the EU.
In 2021, the United Kingdom (UK) successfully signed a free trade deal with Australia, followed by another agreement with New Zealand in February 2022. Although talks with India commenced in early 2022, an agreement has not yet been reached.
Furthermore, a digital trade agreement with Singapore came into effect in June 2022, while a similar accord with Ukraine was signed this March. Notably, in March, the UK made an announcement regarding its intention to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).