Trade deal round-up: CPTPP faces roadblocks and UK inks deal to protect green supply chain

Wed 8 Mar 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Global Britain with trade flows shown heading to different countries

Last week’s trade news was dominated by the Windsor Framework signed by UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, but talks continue to take place for agreements with non-EU partners too.

The new agreement, aimed at resolving tensions around the Northern Ireland Protocol, reportedly boosted the possibility of a trade deal between the UK and US, for instance.

Here, the IOE&IT Daily Update rounds up news of rest of the UK’s ongoing trade deal negotiations, including other knock-on effects from the framework.


Talks over the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are ongoing, after reports that the Windsor Framework also accelerated negotiations, as reported previously by the IOE&IT Daily Update.

However, there are concerns over potential roadblocks involving meat trade, with CPTPP members Canada and Mexico pushing for access to UK’s agricultural market, specifically for exports of beef and pork.

The Daily Mail reports that business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch has ruled out the UK lowering food standards, with environment secretary Therese Coffey attempting to secure quotas to protect domestic farmers.


The UK and Canada have signed an agreement aimed at protecting the supply of minerals critical to the green tech supply chain.

The partnership was announced by UK trade minister Nusrat Ghani and Canadian minister of natural resources Jonathan Wilkinson. It aims to help make technology manufacturers more resilient to global shocks by promoting research and development between UK and Canadian businesses.

The agreement also bids to boost co-operation on minerals, such as cobalt and lithium, used in many green technologies, including solar panels and electric vehicles.

The UK is currently negotiating a fresh trade agreement with Canada, having previously secured a ‘roll-over deal’ which ensured that the terms agreed under the EU-Canada deal would continue to apply to British businesses post-Brexit.


Long standing talks between the UK and Indian government have reached another milestone as both sides issued a joint outcome statement this week.

The statement said:

“On 10 February 2023, the UK and India concluded the seventh round of talks for an India-UK free trade agreement.”

“Technical discussions were held across 11 policy areas over 43 separate sessions.

“The eighth round of negotiations is due to take place later this spring.”

In a speech at the end of last month (28 February), trade chief Badenoch stated that her department was pursuing a “great trade deal” with India, aiming to cut tariffs and open up opportunities for the services industry.

However, the Mint reports that there are concerns from diplomats that Indian plans to host the G20 summit in New Delhi in September, followed by a general election in 2024, could cause delays in the country’s trade negotiations.


The trade secretary is also pushing forward on a “world class agreement” between the UK and Israel.

According to the Daily Express, Badenoch arrived in Israel on Sunday (5 March) as part of her department’s efforts to secure an updated deal.

“What we're looking for is something world-class that we haven't seen before – a services-based, high-tech innovative trade agreement including digital, health – all of the innovations that our countries specialise in”, she said.

While the UK government is stressing that it is focused on quality over speed, the Jewish Chronicle reports that both sides are “positive” about the chances of a deal being struck.


The UK’s progress in improving trade links with Switzerland also received a boost last month, when the Swiss Federal Council approved the start of negotiations on an enhanced bilateral deal.

The Swiss executive body said:

“The aim of the agreement is to ensure non-discriminatory market access in various areas that are of importance for the Swiss economy.

“It should also contribute to consolidating legal certainty for economic exchange and cooperation between Switzerland and the UK, and to facilitating sustainable development."

UK minister for Europe, Leo Docherty, told SwissInfo that Switzerland was the UK’s third-largest non-EU trade partner and that he expected to launch negotiations in the spring, aiming to cover areas such as investment, digital and data.

According to Bloomberg, the decision by the council requires consultation from the Swiss parliament and the body representing regional governing bodies.


The UK is on the verge of ratifying the Australia trade deal, according to Reuters.

British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell said yesterday (7 March) that the deal should return to the House of Commons from the House of Lords by 12 or 13 March. Australia approved the deal last November.

The agreement would come into effect 30 days after both parties informed each other of parliamentary ratification, or on another mutually agreed date.