Last reviewed 1 October 2021

The UK has launched its first negotiation meeting with all 11 members of CPTPP (the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership) — a major trans-Pacific bloc which includes Canada, Japan, Mexico and Australia.

The trade group had a combined GDP of £9 trillion in 2019, and is home to 500 million people including some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies across Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Joining the partnership could mean tariff-free trade for 99.9% of UK exports, including food and drink, and cars, while also creating new opportunities for modern industries such as tech and services.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This is a big milestone on our path to joining CPTPP, which will allow us to forge stronger links both with old friends and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies”.

The deal is one of the world’s most advanced in both digital and services trade, so these initial talks will focus on how the UK meets the standards set out in the CPTPP agreement.

They take place as new Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt is visiting two CPTPP countries — Chile and Peru — on her first official visit as Minister of State.

Her talks will focus on the benefits of the UK joining the dynamic trading bloc as well as opportunities for expanding bilateral trade with the two countries.

“Chile and Peru are important strategic trade partners for the UK,” Ms Mordaunt said, “and I will be using the visit to explore deeper trade and investment ties with both countries. As we kick off negotiations to join CPTPP, there is no better time for British businesses to take advantage of the growing export opportunities in this dynamic part of the world.”