The United Kingdom will mark the first anniversary of Brexit this Monday with the formal presentation of its application for membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TIPAT or CPTPP, in its acronym in English). The British Minister for International Trade, Lizz Truss, will communicate the decision to her counterparts in Japan and New Zealand, officially opening the process of joining the Asian-American club with a view to starting negotiations in the spring.
“One year after our departure from the European Union, we are forging new partnerships that will bring huge economic benefits to the British. By being the first to apply to join the CPTPP, we demonstrate our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and allies around the world and to be enthusiastic champions of global free trade, ”celebrated Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The UK legally withdrew from the EU at midnight on January 31, 2020 and entered the Brexit transition period, which finally concluded last New Year’s Eve and ushered in an ‘independent trading nation’.
The TIPAT was established after the United States’ withdrawal of its previous version, the TPP, in 2017. It is made up of eleven established and emerging economies – from Australia to Canada, Singapore, Peru and Mexico, among others – that encompass more than 500 million of people and represent about 13% of global GDP. However, government studies carried out during the Brexit negotiations project gains of up to 0.4% of British GDP through preferential access agreements with non-EU blocs, compared to an economic contraction of 5% with a free market agreement similar to the one reached with the EU on Christmas Eve.
Truss highlighted the “rapid elimination” of fees on whiskey and vehicle exports among the benefits of potential entry into the trans-Pacific club. In addition, the release of the rules on digital commerce and designation of origin should contribute to the increase of the commercial relationship of the United Kingdom with the bloc, which exceeded 110,000 million pounds in 2019 and has grown by 8% since 2016. The strengthening of Relations with all Asian, American and Oceanic countries will facilitate the granting of visas to British businessmen and entrepreneurs, according to the minister.
London is confident of the re-entry of the United States into TIPAC under the presidency of Joe Biden. The conservative government failed to close the trade agreement that it believed secured with the administration of Donald Trump and does not contemplate reopening the round of negotiations with the Democratic trade representative, Katherine Tai, in the immediate future. The TIPAC could be a forum for trade cooperation while the bilateral relationship is formalized.