U.K. ‘on track’ To Join CPTPP By 2022, Trade Official Says



Lien Hoang | Nikkei Asia

HO CHI MINH CITY — The U.K. made headway on e-commerce and procurement discussions with members of an 11-country Pacific trade bloc, putting it “on track” to reach a post-Brexit dream of joining the CPTPP next year, a top U.K. trade official told Nikkei Asia.

Talks on the U.K. joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are “moving incredibly quickly,” said Natalie Black, U.K. trade commissioner for the Asia-Pacific region, in a recent virtual interview. The U.K. has submitted files on how it would comply with CPTPP bylaws, she said, adding that it will next discuss market access offers such as on tariff cuts and any exemptions it is seeking.

The successor to the TPP, which was ditched by the U.S. in 2017, is vital to London’s new trade strategy now that the U.K. has gone ahead with a divorce from the European Union. This is especially true in regard to digital and inclusive trade in Asia.

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