The United Kingdom announced this Friday the largest trade pact of the post-Brexit era, joining the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The club, which represents 13.4% of world GDP (and which with the entry of the United Kingdom will equal the GDP of the EU) includes among its eleven original members fast-growing economies such as Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as players established regional markets such as Japan (the world’s third largest economy), Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The framework entered into force in December 2018 and is nothing more than an updated version of the frustrated pact signed in 2016, which suffered a deep crisis just one year later, as a result of the decision of Donald Trump to withdraw the United States.
The United Kingdom’s request to become the new member and expand the club to twelve members was formally made at the beginning of 2021. Although in reality the negotiations had started much earlier.
“We are an open and free-trade nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms,” said the premier. Rishi Sunak it’s a statement. “As part of the CPTPP, the UK is now in a unique position in the global economy that allows it to seize opportunities to create jobs, growth and innovation,” she added.
The truth is that the economic benefits will be limited, just 0.08% of GDP for the next decade, partly because London already has bilateral agreements with nine members of the CPTPP. The Government detailed that the benefit will be 1,800 million pounds (2,040 million euros) in the “long term.”
Currently, London exports goods worth 60,500 million pounds (68,650 million euros) each year to the countries of the commercial bloc, according to the latest official data, which correspond to the twelve months prior to September 2022. The CPTPP agreement ensures that 99% of goods exported from British territory will be eligible for a zero-tariff regime, including products such as cars, machinery, cheese, chocolate, gin and whiskey.
In any case, membership must be valued more in political terms, because Downing Street’s objective was none other than to consolidate its strategy to position itself in the Indo-Pacific, in order to counteract the influence of China.
Undoubtedly, one of the great benefits that CPTPP membership now brings will be the power to veto or support requests from other countries to join the bloc, since they require a unanimous decision among members.
London will have a privileged position at the discussion table, as it is the only European nation and given the absence of other great powers such as the United States. Neither France nor Germany -the axis of the EU- will be able to join that table as independent countries. Therefore, the United Kingdom becomes the key intermediary.
Among those who have already submitted their applications to join the CPTPP are precisely china and taiwan, amid growing concerns about peace in the region. President Xi Jinping He has emphasized preparation for war in four separate speeches this month, accusing the West of a “siege and repression” policy against the Asian giant. In this sense, a difficult challenge is posed. Accepting Taiwan and leaving Beijing out would only increase the tension. In the longer term, it is likely that the bloc expands with countries such as Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand.
All the movements of the new `((LINK: EXTERNO|||https://www.larazon.es/internacional/20211226/sb3vnfcp5va6blzksmxy7q33hq.html|||Global Britain´)) since it officially left the EU in January 2020 they have been aimed at consolidating their position and influence in the Indo-Pacific. It became clear with the publication in 2021 of the ‘Integrated Review’ -the largest review of Foreign and Defense policy since the Cold War- and its subsequent update this March. and also with the AUKUS signature, a tripartite nuclear security alliance with the United States and Australia, and the Global Combat Air Program to develop a sixth-generation fighter aircraft with Japan and Italy. Likewise, London and Paris have also agreed to coordinate the deployment of aircraft carriers in this region to increase the European maritime presence in the region.