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Britain to launch negotiations to join 11-nation CPTPP trading group

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Britain on Tuesday was set to launch negotiations to join the global trading group known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Joining the group of 11 countries which in 2019, had a combined gross domestic product of some 12.5 trillion dollars.

The group would open up unparalleled opportunities for British businesses and consumers in the fast-growing Indo-Pacific,’’ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

According to Britain’s Department for International Trade, joining the CPTPP would lead to an increase of some 37 billion pounds (51.5 billion dollars) in exports to member countries by 2030, in what would be a 65-per-cent rise.

The CPTPP was the renamed version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional trade deal promoted by the administration of then-U.S. president Barack Obama.

His successor, Donald Trump, withdrew from the TPP shortly after taking office in early 2017.

The group includes Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam.

The U.S. had originally planned to join, but Trump withdrew his country from the negotiations.

Britain was seeking a range of trade deals after formally leaving the European Union at the beginning of 2020 and the bloc’s single market and customs union after the expiration of a 11-month transition period.

“We left the EU with the promise of deepening links with old allies and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe.

“Joining the high-standards Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important part of that vision,’’ Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said.

“This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie.’’

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