Ministers say the UK is “on track” to become part of the £9trillion Comprehensive And Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) next year.
Joining one of the world’s largest free trade areas would ultimately trigger major tariff cuts in industries such as food, drink, cars and tech.
Additionally, the UK would form closer alliances with 11 current members including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
In a report for the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall points out that membership will mean tariffs are slashed on 99.9 percent of UK exports to other member nations, unlocking the potential to boost GDP by up to £20billion a year.
“CPTPP offers a huge opportunity for Britain,” he writes. “The benefits of joining are clear – an economic boost to the whole of the UK, geo-political support to our allies and the development and standardisation of global trade rules.
“Our membership to CPTPP does not reduce our high standards or strip away our sovereignty [but] seeks to raise standards and provides a platform for the UK to play a leading role in shaping the future of trade.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss made becoming a member of the CPTPP a key priority for the UK in her previous role as International Trade Secretary.
Last week, Britain and India kicked-off talks on a new free trade agreement worth almost £30billion.
The UK wants to slash barriers to doing business with India’s £2trillion economy and its market of 1.4 billion consumers, including cutting tariffs on exports of cars and Scotch whisky.
Since Brexit, Britain has been able to strike new free trade deals with 70 countries, worth over £760billion, according to the Government.
Elizabeth Dunkley, researcher at the CPS and report co-author said: “The CPTPP represents an exciting opportunity for Global Britain.
“Businesses, exporters and consumers across the whole of the UK stand to benefit from the related cost savings and efficiency gains.
“With the world’s economic centre of gravity shifting eastwards, CPTPP presents an unrivalled opportunity for us to influence the development of global rules and regulations, while strengthening ties with some of our closest strategic allies.”
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