UK has formally begun negotiations to join the CPTPP

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The UK has formally begun negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal.

The CPTPP is a major trade pact comprised of the Pacific countries of New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Together, these countries represent about 500 million people and represent about US$13.5 trillion in GDP, or 13.4 percent of global GDP.

The CPTPP eliminates or reduces at least 95 percent of tariffs on internationally traded products among member countries. It also requires members to cooperate on a number of regulatory issues, such as labour, environment, food, and intellectual property standards, though it does not compel them to have identical regulations.

The UK first began exploring the possibility of joining the CPTPP in 2018, as the government sought new trade opportunities in the wake of Brexit. The UK is not the only country considering joining the CPTPP. Other potential entrants include Thailand, South Korea and the Philippines.

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