The UK has concluded its biggest trade deal since Brexit

British Prime Minister Rishi SunakImage courtesy REUTERS

The United Kingdom will become the first European country to join the CPTPP trade bloc, Downing Street said in a statement. A total of eleven countries have now signed the agreement, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

“British companies will now have unprecedented access to markets from Europe to the South Pacific,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement. In the long term, the merger will add 1.8 billion pounds (about 2 billion euros) to the country’s economic output, the prime minister said.

His predecessor Boris Johnson submitted a request to join the free trade bloc in January 2021. After the country leaves the EU in 2020, the UK has been looking for new trading partners. Sunak expects more countries to join in the future.

The United States is not a signatory to the treaty. Under President Barack Obama, the country was once the driving force behind the trade deal, later known as the TPP, which was intended to provide a counterbalance to China’s economic power. However, his successor Donald Trump was not interested and ended the discussions. Current US President Joe Biden has also shown no interest in joining the deal

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