UK signs biggest trade deal since Brexit | Abroad

After 21 months of negotiations, London announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement to join the CPTPP Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, the biggest trade deal since Brexit.

This will make the UK the first European country to join the CPTPP trade bloc, Downing Street said in a statement. Currently, a total of eleven countries have 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 (about €2 billion) to the country’s economic output, the prime minister said.

His predecessor Boris Johnson applied to join the free trade camp in January 2021. After the country leaves the European Union in 2020, the UK is keenly looking for new trading partners. Sunak expects more countries to join in the future.

The United States is not among the signatories. The country, under President Barack Obama, was the driving force behind the trade agreement, once known as the TPP, that would act as a counterweight to China’s economic power. However, his successor, Donald Trump, showed no interest and ended the negotiations. Current US President Joe Biden has also shown no interest in joining the deal.

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