January 3, 2018 | By: ANUSHKA ASTHANA –
Liam Fox has said it is too soon to seek out membership of a flagship Pacific trading group, but insisted it would be foolish for the UK to rule out such an option in the future.
Speaking during a trip to China, the international trade secretary did not deny that informal talks had taken place about the possibility of Britain becoming a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite the geographic distance.
Fox said the TPP deal, which has lost the support of the United States but still includes countries such as Australia, Japan and Mexico, had yet to be negotiated so it would be “a little bit premature” to want to sign it without seeing the final details.
“However, we have said that we want to be an outward-looking country and therefore it would be foolish for us to rule out any particular outcomes for the future,” he said. “So we’ll keep an open mind and we’ll want to talk to our global trading partners.”
His comments came as a former British diplomat who has led both the Foreign Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, poured scorn on the idea of Britain joining a distant trading pact.
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