Here we go! Brexit Britain starts talks on £9TRILLION trade pact today

UK 'pleased with progress on CPTPP' says Lord Grimstone

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Britain will hold its first round of negotiations with the 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The UK officially submitted an application to join the group earlier this year, with members agreeing to proceed with accession talks.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam all make up the CPTPP, which accounts for 15 percent of global trade.

If the UK joins the group it will be the second-largest economy involved behind Japan and will make it easier for British exporters to do business abroad.

Joining the partnership could mean tariff-free trade for 99.9 percent of all exports.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This is a big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP, which will allow us to forge stronger links both with old friends and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

“Joining this high-standards partnership will provide real opportunities for UK exporters and service providers and help our innovators open up new, diverse markets.

“Seizing opportunities like this is exactly what Global Britain is about and will help bring high-quality jobs and prosperity to every region of our country.”

Joining the trade group is a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strategic vision to shift the UK’s interests towards the Indo-Pacific.

The CPTPP will increase access to fast-growing markets and projected major economies of the future, including Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The talks will take place virtually and are due to begin in the early hours of this morning.

It paves the way for a series of negotiations on the UK’s accession to the CPTPP trade bloc.

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At the same time, trade minister Penny Mordaunt will also make an official visit to CPTPP countries Chile and Peru.

She is due to meet Chile’s minister of agriculture Maria Emilia Undurraga and her Peruvian counterpart Roberto Sanchez as well as businesses from the region, according to the Department for International Trade.

Ms Mordaunt said added of her trip: “Chile and Peru are important strategic trade partners for the UK, and I will be using the visit to explore deeper trade and investment ties with both countries.

“As we kick off negotiations to join CPTPP, there is no better time for British businesses to take advantage of the growing export opportunities in this dynamic part of the world.”

It will be her first visit overseas as trade minister after being promoted to the role by Mr Johnson following his cabinet reshuffle earlier this month.

As well as accession to the CPTPP, Ms Mordaunt will discuss opportunities to expand trade bilaterally with the two countries.

So far the UK has signed trade agreements with 67 countries since leaving the EU.

While many are rollover deals from when the UK was in the bloc, agreements from scratch with Australia and Japan have also been signed.

A pact with New Zealand is set to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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