British Trade Minister Kimi Badnoch signed the biggest trade deal for Britons since the country left the European Union on Sunday in New Zealand. Britain thus officially joins the CPTPP Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, which, in addition to New Zealand, has been signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The British government spent 21 months negotiating accession to the CPTPP. Those efforts led to an agreement in March, which was finally signed on Sunday. The agreement will enter into force in the second half of 2024. The UK is the first European country to join the CPTPP. According to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the long-term agreement (after 10 years, ed.) should generate about €2 billion in economic output annually.
Critics say the impact of the deal will be limited, as the €2 billion it would raise annually is equivalent to 0.08% of Britain’s GDP. However, Badenoch believes the agreement will bring “significant” benefits. The audience will definitely feel the difference “if they use it,” it seems.
The United States is not a signatory to the CPTPP. The country was once the driving force behind the trade agreement, then known as the TPP, under former President Barack Obama. The agreement was meant to act as a counterweight to China’s economic power. However, Obama’s successor Donald Trump was not interested and ended the talks. Nor has current US President Joe Biden shown any interest in joining the agreement yet.
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