According to an official announcement issued on Sunday, the United Kingdom has now formally entered the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Business and trading Secretary Kemi Badenoch formally signed the deal in New Zealand, cementing the UK’s admission into the CPTPP, an Indo-Pacific trading bloc with a staggering GDP of £12 trillion (almost $16 trillion).
According to recent government figures, enterprises linked with the CPTPP employ 1% of the UK workforce, and participation is projected to increase investment in the UK.
More than 99% of existing UK goods exports to CPTPP nations will be eligible for zero tariffs under this agreement.
Reduced tariffs on cheese and butter exports to Canada, Chile, Japan, and Mexico, for example, will assist dairy farmers.
“I’m delighted to be here in New Zealand to sign a deal that will be a big boost for British businesses, delivering billions of pounds in additional trade, as well as opening up huge opportunities and unparalleled access to a market of over 500 million people,” Badenoch said.
“We are leveraging our status as an independent trading nation to join an exciting, growing, forward-thinking trade bloc that will help grow the UK economy and build on the hundreds of thousands of jobs already supported by CPTPP-owned businesses across the country,” she said.
The accord is the largest trade agreement signed since Brexit.
The UK will be the first European member and the first new member since the CPTPP was established, “which would have been impossible if we had remained in the EU,” according to the government.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free-trade agreement (FTA) involving the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan.