Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeWORLD NEWSKemi Badenoch ratifies the United Kingdom's membership in the CPTPP Indo-Pacific trade...

Kemi Badenoch ratifies the United Kingdom’s membership in the CPTPP Indo-Pacific trade bloc.

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has approved the United Kingdom’s membership in a trade accord with a number of countries in Asia and the Pacific, a move the government claims will boost the economy by £1.8 billion per year by 2029.

On Sunday (16 June) in New Zealand, the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was confirmed.

The United Kingdom is the first country and European nation to join the bloc, which incorporates eleven nations in the Indo-Pacific region, since its formation in 2018.

Officials assert that the UK’s largest trade deal since leaving the EU will provide dairy producers with export opportunities to Canada, Chile, and Japan, as well as beef, pork, and poultry producers with improved access to Mexico’s market, although the arrangements are not as liberal as Britain’s pre-Brexit trading arrangements with the EU.

Before signing the agreement in Auckland alongside ministers from CPTPP nations, Ms. Badenoch stated, “I’m delighted to be here in New Zealand to sign a deal that will be a huge boost for British businesses and deliver billions of pounds in additional trade, as well as provide unprecedented access to a market of more than 500 million people.

“We are using our status as an independent trading nation to join a dynamic, expanding, and forward-looking trade bloc, which will help grow the UK economy and add to the hundreds of thousands of jobs already supported by CPTPP-owned businesses across the country.”

Marco Forgione, director of the Institute of Export and International Trade, stated, “From whiskey to confectionary to automobiles to jewelry and apparel, the elimination of tariffs will make our finest British products more accessible to consumers in the Indo-Pacific bloc.

This agreement also strengthens value chains and supply chains within the bloc.

“Since the United Kingdom announced its intention to join the CPTPP, many other nations have expressed interest in joining as well. Therefore, potential market access and benefits will continue to increase considerably over the next few years.”

Ms. Badenoch previously stated, in reference to the UK joining the EU, that the deal “will not displace farmers in the UK” and will increase competition for EU countries so “people don’t have to buy what they don’t want.”

She added to Sky News that the difference between the CPTPP and the EU is that “we make the rules for our standards.”

The chief executive officer of HSBC, Ian Stuart, applauded the move, stating, “The UK’s formal accession to CPTPP marks a significant milestone for UK trade, enabling ambitious British businesses to connect with the world’s most exciting growth markets for start-ups, innovation, and technology.”

The government asserts that membership in the union will reduce tariffs for British exporters to the bloc’s member states.

Ms. Badenoch announced that the United Kingdom’s membership had been approved in March after two years of negotiations.

The United Kingdom and the other members will need to pass legislation and undergo parliamentary review to ratify the agreement.

Officials estimate it will go into effect in the second half of 2024, when the United Kingdom will become a voting member of the bloc and enterprises will be able to take advantage of it.

According to the Government, the terms and conditions of the United Kingdom’s membership, including market access commitments to other nations, will be published later today.

In addition, the government has disclosed data indicating that CPTPP-headquartered companies employed one out of every 100 UK workers in 2019, equating to more than 400,000 jobs nationwide.

Officials claim that membership in the trade group will strengthen this investment relationship.

With the exception of Malaysia and Brunei, the United Kingdom already has trade agreements with all CPTPP members besides Malaysia and Brunei.

In light of the fact that 99 percent of the United Kingdom’s current exports of products to the European Union are eligible for zero tariffs, officials have stated that this agreement will strengthen existing arrangements.

Critics assert that the impact will be minimal, with official estimates indicating that it will only contribute £1.8 billion per year to the economy after 10 years, which is less than 1% of the UK’s GDP.

The EU remains by far the United Kingdom’s largest trading partner, despite businesses’ struggles with post-Brexit import and export regulations.

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, criticized the Tories’ claim that CPTPP membership would make up for lost trade in Europe as dishonest.”

As a consequence of the United Kingdom’s membership in the CPTPP, proponents claim that everyday items from CPTPP nations, such as Ugg boots from Australia, Kiwis from New Zealand, and blueberries from Chile, will become less expensive for Britons.

According to environmental activists and labor unions, the agreement would facilitate trade in environments that harm the environment and pose dangers to workers.

Angela Francis, director of policy solutions for the conservation organization WWF-UK, stated that the government was “knowingly enabling trade in products that are wreaking havoc on our natural world.”

Paul Nowak, general secretary of the TUC, stated that the agreement could lead to policies such as an increase in the minimum wage and public ownership of energy taking a back seat to multinational corporations’ profits.

This Pacific trade pact is detrimental to both domestic and foreign employees. In their pursuit of trade agreements, Conservative ministers have once again turned a blind eye to egregious violations of human and worker rights, he said.

Angela Francis, Director of Policy Solutions at WWF-UK, stated, “By signing the CPTPP without adequate safeguards, this government is knowingly enabling trade in products that are wreaking devastation on our natural environment for negligible economic gain.

“However, the government could still solve this issue by establishing fundamental environmental standards for food imported into the United Kingdom.” This would not only protect our irreplaceable natural environment, but it would also level the playing field for our domestic farmers, who are making advances toward greener agricultural practices.

“To fix our broken food system and save our wild islands, the United Kingdom must demonstrate its commitment to delivering on its climate and nature commitments and enshrine them in its trade policy by establishing fundamental environmental standards.”

The British Chambers of Commerce, however, hailed the measure as “good news for UK businesses.”

William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, stated, “The upcoming accession of the United Kingdom to this trading bloc will bring the total number of members to 12, representing 15% of global economic production.

Beginning in the second half of next year, it will create new opportunities for our enterprises in both inward and outward investment with the other 11 countries.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments