UK signs biggest trade deal since Brexit | outside
London announced on Friday that after 21 months of negotiations it had reached an agreement to join the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement (CPTPP), the largest trade deal since Brexit.
Downing Street said in a statement that the UK will become the first European country to join the CPTPP trade bloc. Currently, eleven countries have signed the treaty with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
“British companies will now enjoy unprecedented access to markets from Europe to the South Pacific,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement. In the long run, the prime minister said, accession would add 1.8 billion pounds (about 2 billion euros) to the country’s economic output.
His predecessor, Boris Johnson, applied in January 2021 to join the free trade bloc. After the country left the European Union in 2020, the UK has been desperately looking for new trading partners. Sunak expects more countries to join in the future.
The United States is not among the signatories. The country was, under President Barack Obama, the driving force behind the trade agreement, then known as the TPP, which was supposed to act as a counterweight to China’s economic might. However, his 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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