The UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) ‘can only benefit’ businesses in Redditch, Rachel has said.

Today (February 1st), the International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, will speak to ministers in Japan and New Zealand to request to join CPTPP, with formal negotiations set to start this year.

Joining the CPTPP would deepen the UK’s access to fast-growing markets and major economies, including Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam, for the benefit of UK business.

Joining the £9 trillion partnership will cut tariffs for UK industries including food and drink, and cars, while also creating new opportunities for modern industries like tech and services, ultimately supporting and creating high-value jobs across the UK. Unlike EU membership, joining does not require the UK to cede control over our laws, borders, or money.

UK trade with the group was worth £111 billion in 2019, growing by 8% a year since 2016. Benefits that CPTPP membership will bring for businesses include:

  • Modern digital trade rules that allow data to flow freely between members, remove unnecessary barriers for businesses, and protect commercial source code and encryption.
  • Eliminating tariffs quicker on UK exports including whisky (down from 165% to 0% in Malaysia) and cars (reducing to 0% in Canada by 2022, two years earlier than through the UK-Canada trade deal).
  • Rules of Origin that allow content from any country within CPTPP to count as ‘originating’. For example, this would mean that cars made in the UK could use more Japanese-originating car parts, such as batteries.
  • Easier travel for businesspeople between CPTPP countries, such as the potential for faster and cheaper visas.

Rachel said:

“Joining a £9 trillion trading area can only benefit Redditch businesses and open up new markets for our town’s economy.

“Joining CPTPP will create new opportunities for our businesses that simply weren’t there as part of the EU and deepen our ties with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

“Take the car industry for example, Redditch companies are heavily involved in the supply chain, and so opening up this sector to new markets and lower tariffs for car manufacturers will help to boost our economy.

“This is global Britain in action. Applying to be the first new country to join the CPTPP demonstrates our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and partners all over the world and be an enthusiastic champion of global free trade.”