U.K. agrees to join Pacific trade pact that includes Canada in post-Brexit deal
The U.K. has agreed to join an Asia-Pacific trade pact that includes Canada, Japan, Mexico and Australia -- the biggest new trade deal Britain has struck since leaving the European Union three years ago.
The British government said Friday that it had clinched an agreement after almost two years of negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.
The government said membership would reduce tariffs on British dairy products and other goods and remove red tape for services, boosting the U.K. economy by 1.8 billion pounds (US$2.2 billion) "in the long run."
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the deal "demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms."
"Joining the CPTPP trade bloc puts the U.K. at the centre of a dynamic and growing group of Pacific economies, as the first new nation and first European country to join," Sunak said.
The deal comes as the U.K. pursues an "Indo-Pacific tilt" in its economic and foreign policy in response to the region's economic growth, and China's rising influence on the world stage.
Critics said the deal with nations thousands of miles away is insignificant compared to Britain's trade with its neighbours in the 27-nation EU. Brexit has imposed barriers to trade between Britain and the bloc, which remains by far the U.K.'s biggest economic partner. The government's Office for Budget responsibility said in November that Brexit had had "a significant adverse impact on U.K. trade."
David Henig, a trade expert at the European Center for International Political Economy, said CPTPP membership would not have a huge economic impact but "on balance" it was good for Britain.
"Doesn't do a lot for us (services provisions for example are weak), but trade policy is all about marginal gains these days, and it should be that," he wrote on Twitter.
Members of the CPTPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The United States, the world's biggest economy, is not part of the CPTTP; former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from its predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His successor, Joe Biden, has not rejoined.
China, which has the globe's second-largest economy, has applied to join, a move that would quadruple the group's total population to some 2 billion people.
MORE Business News
opinion | Find out how much contribution room is left in your RESP to avoid penalties
Opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a great way to fund your child’s future education. Personal finance contributor Christopher Liew outlines the contribution rules for RESPs and explains how to find out how much contribution room you have left so that you can avoid penalties.
opinion | Is it a good time to buy a new vehicle?
If you're like many would-be vehicle shoppers, you may be wondering when prices will finally drop. The good news is that the vehicle market seems to be finally stabilizing, says personal finance contributor Christopher Liew.
opinion | How to get the most out of your grocery rebate
Personal finance contributor Christoper Liew shares the latest information about who’s eligible for the grocery rebate, when they can expect their payments, and some helpful tips on making the most of your grocery rebate.
opinion | Dos and don'ts of money while travelling
As a former financial advisor, I’ve always been fascinated by how the 'culture' around money differs from one region of the world to another,' writes personal finance commentator Christopher Liew. 'Today, I’ll outline some of the interesting money habits that I’ve noticed while travelling the globe, starting with some of our own!'
opinion | How much of a raise should you ask for in a time of high inflation?
With the rising cost of food and living expenses, you might be considering asking for a raise. On CTVNews.ca, personal finance contributer Christopher Liew explains how inflation could determine the extent of your raise, as well as other key factors.
opinion | Top sources of passive income for Canadians looking to earn more
On CTVNews.ca, personal finance contributor Christopher Liew explores some of the top sources of passive income in Canada, for those looking to increase their earnings.
Owe money to the CRA? Here are some repayment options
Getting an income tax refund can be a happy bonus for your household budget, but an unexpected tax bill can be an unpleasant surprise, especially if you don't have the cash on hand to pay it.
Canadians with celiac disease especially hard hit by grocery price pain, group says
Those prices have been increasing even more along with the rising cost of groceries overall. Celiac Canada says gluten-free products cost between 150 and 500 per cent more than their regular gluten-containing equivalents.