"Let's go beyond the CPTPP" - UK tells NZ as they launch trade deal talks. AU and CPTPP are next!

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Are the symbolic deals or actually represent value for British business?

Who? The UK DIT

When? 17 June 2020

Document: Press Statement, Negotiations Positions and website updates

What happened?

The UK launched FTA negotiations with New Zealand and Australia. The UK also published a position paper on an FTA with Australia and a position on the CPTPP

Why does it matter?

The UK-NZ and UK-AU FTAs will serve as a framework for an even stronger economic partnership as the UK seeks to expand its already close relationships in the Asia-Pacific. New Zealand and Australia are already members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Both countries have welcomed the UK’s intention to join this group, even though the UK is not really close to the Pacific….

That sounds great, but it there, actually, a problem? This popped up on my Twitter feed last night:

And was followed up by the FT's reporting on 18 June 2020, which stated:

"Elsewhere, the UK launched bilateral trade talks with New Zealand and Australia with a weird stream of consciousness from prime minister Boris Johnson about chocolate biscuits. Unfortunately, given the vast geographical distances involved, the fact that Britain’s Antipodean cousins already have pretty low tariffs, and their resistance to opening their public procurement markets, the estimated gains to the UK economy are homeopathically low.

We don’t place great store by these estimates, but the British government itself reckons a deal with New Zealand adds at most 0.01% to UK gross domestic product over 15 years, and might actually subtract 0.01% instead. (An Australian agreement does barely more.) If you’re in the UK, nip out and buy a bag of crisps after reading this and you might well have done more for the British economy than a New Zealand trade deal. On the British import side, we’d say “hooray for cheaper lamb!” except the Kiwis already have a big lamb quota into the EU that they don’t fill now. Fans of the deals are reduced to waving their arms around vaguely and saying geostrategic something Asia-Pacific relationships something Global Britain something something. We treat such people with scepticism round here"

Alan Beattie in Brussels June 18, 2020 - Trade Secret Newsletter

What can I do?

  1. Assess your trade flow and understand if and how an FTA could be beneficial to your business.

  2. Read about the launch of the FTA with NZ

  3. Read about the approach the UK will take with Australia

  4. Learn about the CPTPP

Expert to Contact

Arne Mielken

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