The Accession of the United Kingdom to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership: Summary

Written by BCCJ
July 18, 2023


Written by BCCJ
July 18, 2023

Source: UK Gov

The UK has now signed its Accession Protocol to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), meaning the country is officially acceding to this free trade agreement (FTA).

CPTPP will now have 12 members: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia,
Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as the UK. The UK is the first
new signatory to the agreement since it was finalised.

CPTPP will now span four continents, covering a population of more than half a billion
people. The combined GDP of the 11 CPTPP members and the UK is worth around £12
trillion (2022).

Joining CPTPP shows how the Government is taking advantage of its independent trade policy, championing openness, and doing trade deals that work for the UK.
Being part of CPTPP will deliver new opportunities for growth in a way that is tailored to the UK’s economy and reflects the future of the global economy.

CPTPP liberalises trade between countries with a combined population of half a billion
people and includes some of the world’s most dynamic economies. With the UK’s joining, CPTPP will account for around 15% of global GDP, and its deal is estimated to increase bilateral trade by £4.9billion in the long run.

This comprehensive agreement will support UK businesses by making it easier for them to
trade with CPTPP Parties. It will facilitate innovation and provide consumers with more
choice. CPTPP will generate long-term benefits for both the UK and CPTPP, support UK
jobs and provide opportunities for growth across the UK. Businesses in all parts of the UK
are expected to benefit.

But membership of CPTPP does more than give UK businesses access to a series of
individual markets. Beyond these immediate benefits are wider, deeper, longer-term

The UK’s membership gives the country a new presence in the Indo-Pacific – a region the UK has already identified as a pillar of its international policy, and which is expected to originate 54% of global growth through to 2050.

And its membership will advance modern trading rules at a time of risk of fragmentation in the global economy and pressure on the multilateral trading system. CPTPP shows that
trading rules reflecting the fast-changing nature of the global economy can be agreed and
operated between a diverse range of countries. It proves a concept the UK is committed to,
and it could pave the way for new approaches multilaterally.

Read more HERE


Benefits of the UK’s Accession to CPTPP

A gateway to growth

CPTPP was created to expand and as it grows the UK will stand to benefit from access to new markets. Economies including Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay have formally applied to join CPTPP. Thailand, the Philippines, and Republic of Korea have also expressed an interest in joining. If these economies were to join CPTPP with the UK, the combined 2022 GDP would increase to just over £14 trillion, an expanded group which covered 9% of all UK exports in 2022.


Opening new markets for UK services providers

CPTPP is one of the most modern trade agreements in the world, with ambitious services provisions that are ideally suited to the UK as the world’s second largest services provider.

The UK already sells more services than it does goods to CPTPP members, worth £32.2 billion, including £1.9 billion in business services such as auditing, accounting, and legal services to Australia, £1.4 billion in transportation services to Singapore, and £1.5 billion in insurance and pension services to Canada.

CPTPP puts services and digital trade at the forefront of the UK’s trading relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific. UK businesses will be operating more on a par with local firms and red tape can be reduced, providing greater certainty on our terms of trade.

Commitments will also facilitate business travel to CPTPP Parties, providing greater legal certainty for individuals and businesses across multiple sectors and supporting long-term economic growth and investment.


Data flows

Digital trade is creating a new global economy, with remotely delivered services from the UK to CPTPP worth £23.0 billion in 2021. Data flows are vital for modern trade,
enabling everything from more efficient manufacturing and supply chains to more reliable
infrastructure. Joining CPTPP will help remove the barriers UK companies face like data
localisation requirements, ensuring data can flow between the UK and CPTPP members.

The City of London Corporation says accession to the agreement will help the UK become a leader in digital trade, with modern rules on data and freer access to each other’s services
sectors. The membership is committed to the highest data protection standards, so British
business can expand into CPTPP markets with confidence, ensuring that individuals and
businesses know their data and intellectual property are safe.

Other benefits include:

  • Benefitting UK exporters – cutting tariffs on goods exports
  • New opportunities from diversifying supply chains
  • A trade deal with Malaysia for the first time
  • More access to high-quality imported goods
  • Strengthening economic security
  • Encouraging investment

Read more on these, as well as details on The Agreement HERE


Further Reading: