Britain’s trade deal with New Zealand could be signed within days and help ease the accession to CPTPP membership.
A deal would boost exports of goods such as gin, chocolate, clothing, cars and buses as tariffs of up to 10% would be dropped. British investors to New Zealand would also gain level-playing field access.
According to the Daily Mail, trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan hopes to announce the deal imminently.
As covered in the IOE&IT Daily Update, a sixth round of talks in the summer were reported to have gone well.
Key to Asia-Pacific?
Although British trade with New Zealand is relatively small, being worth about £2.3 billion a year, there is hope that a deal will help the UK to be accepted into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Britain applied for membership of the £9 trillion trade bloc at the start of the year. New Zealand is a member, as is Australia, which has also agreed a trade deal with Britain. Other members include Canada, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.
No wider US deal
However, hopes for a US-UK trade deal were dealt a blow after the interim US ambassador to the UK dodged the BBC’s Andrew Marr’s repeated questions about progress on an agreement, reports the Express.
Ambassador Reeker insisted that Britain should not focus on a “headline trade agreement” but on growing the trade between the two countries right now.
US-UK trade is currently worth about $220bn and the UK has been anxious to sign a trade deal with the world’s biggest economy.
However, despite recent small wins such as the suspension of tariffs on whisky and the lifting of the ban on British lamb exports, a wider trade deal is unlikely in the short term.