Liam Fox - Too soon to seek membership of Trans-Pacific trade deal

Friday, 12 Jan, 2018

According to Britain's Financial Times, Mr Fox is developing a proposal to join the TPP to open up post-Brexit trade opportunities.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership could be in for another rebranding if Britain is successful in talks, including with New Zealand, to join the agreement.

The informal discussions, if successful, would make the United Kingdom the first member of the trading bloc that does not border the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea, according to reports.

Liam Fox's department for global trade is reported to be keen to commit to the group, despite it suffering a blow previous year when the United States, its largest member, withdrew on the orders of President Donald Trump.

Other TPP members include Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico. "Nothing is excluded in all of this", he said.

"In these multilateral relations, there should be no geographical constraints", said Greg Hands.

The 11 countries that remain in the TPP have expressed their commitment to the group's trade effort nonetheless.

Currently, these countries hold an 8% share of British exports, most prominently Japan.

"We don't know what the success of the TPP is going to yet look like, because it isn't yet negotiated", he said.

The UK is not allowed to make trade deals before it formally leaves the EU.

The 11 countries involved in the deal have been working to salvage it after the USA chose to pull out in January previous year. By comparison, Germany alone accounted for 11 percent. "The TPP covers not just trading goods but also intellectually property and starts dealing with IT and would be a very positive step for world trade". "The best way to achieve this is a Brexit deal that keeps us in the single market and customs union after we leave the EU". People only got an idea of how the extensive trade deal would affect lives when a draft copy was leaked by WikiLeaks and triggered worldwide protests.

The Communication Workers of America union claimed the deal would be a "complete disaster" as it could incentivise corporations to move service sector jobs to lower-wage economies such as Vietnam.

Trump withdrew from the agreement a year ago, saying: "We've been talking about [withdrawal] for a long time".

Lib Dem Tim Farron said: "This plan smacks of desperation". "Of course [TPP] could be helpful but it is not the main event, and at the moment the government is making a hash of that", said Barry Gardiner, the shadow trade secretary. "It's all pie in sky thinking".