techUK welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation on potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). With the 11 countries of the CPTPP representing around 13 per cent of the global economy and several important growth markets, acceding to the agreement could bring advantages to the UK tech sector.
While the UK will potentially have separate trade agreements with 9 of its 11 members through rolling over active and near-completion EU FTAs, as well as the separate negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, CPTPP nevertheless is a deep agreement that offers many strengths and sets a high bar for trade agreements on digital issues in particular.
In responding to this consultation, techUK is clear that for the majority of our members, ensuring ongoing alignment with the EU is their central priority and that acceding to CPTPP should be secondary to the need to secure a comprehensive agreement with the UK’s main international tech market, the EU. As such, the UK should be careful to ensure no provisions within CPTPP should cut across the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
One concern for techUK is what provisions in CPTPP for most-favoured-nation treatment would mean for the future UK-EU relationship. While techUK would welcome MFN access to the countries of CPTPP, if this would prove a complication to securing a deep and comprehensive agreement with the EU then techUK’s members are clear that the relationship with the EU must remain the priority.
Read the full submission via the link below and if you would like to discuss further please get in touch with Giles Derrington or Thomas Goldsmith.