Britain sees Tran-Pacific trade deal next year, no date yet for U.S. accord

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ROME (Businesshala) – Britain does not know when it might get a full trade deal with the United States but is expected to join the Trans-Pacific trade partnership next year, British Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on Wednesday .

Britain’s Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan speaks during an interview with Businesshala in Rome, Italy October 13, 2021. Businesshala/Yara Nardi

Trevelyan took office last month and earlier this week met several of his key counterparts face-to-face for the first time, including US Trade Representative Catherine Tai at a gathering of ministers from the Group of 20 major economies.

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Trevelyan told Businesshala that both Britain and the United States want a free trade deal, but there is no timetable yet for negotiations.

“We have not found any date in the diary. What we’ve got is an ongoing dialogue on the opportunity to look sector-by-sector on key areas that we know will be involved in that full, comprehensive deal in the full course,” Trevelyan said.

The British government once touted a trade deal with the United States as one of the biggest rewards of leaving the European Union, but since the election of Joe Biden as US president, the prospect of a quick deal has vanished. Because their administration does extensive review. of business policies.

“Free trade deals are monstrous, monstrous documents and you can work on different chapters and make good progress on them just thinking about the whole picture,” Trevelyan said.

However, the minister said that London is expected to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in 2022.

The CPTPP trade agreement removes 95% of tariffs among its 11 members – Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.

“Hopefully we will be able to tie it up next year, which is very exciting,” the minister said.

According to British government modeling, joining the CPTPP in its current format could add less than 0.1% of pre-pandemic GDP over the long term. But ministers say it closes off access to the market and is an important way to gain influence in a region dominated by China.

Brexit odds

London also wants to shore up trade with old EU partners, which suffered at the beginning of the year when Britain broke out of the bloc’s single market and customs union.

The latest data from Italy showed British imports were down 9.9% in August year-on-year – the only major country to see a decline. In contrast, imports from Russia increased by 107%, from China by 42.5%, from India by 87.3% and from the United States by 17.4% as global trade recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.

The British Trade Department said on Wednesday it would form a new partnership with Italy to boost trade.

Recent data also shows that Britain is set to lose its position as one of Germany’s top 10 trading partners this year for the first time since 1950.

Trevelyan said the trade disruption was a temporary phenomenon.

“The logistics of changing systems that businesses have had to learn to use … have triggered some issues that have mostly been ironed out after Brexit,” she said.

In a statement ahead of this week’s G20 meeting in southern Italy, Trevelyan said she would encourage her counterparts to support the reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the “market-distorting practices” of other countries. Complained – criticism that is regularly directed at G20 member China.

“Some (delegations) were in a very strong position and some were clearly in a position to move forward,” Trevelyan said.

Additional reporting by William James in London; Editing by Philip Fletcher

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