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UK Trade Agreements Update: Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

On 18 February 2022 it was confirmed that the UK can move into the second phase of negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a free trade area worth £8.4 trillion in GDP.

This announcement came from Japan as Chair of the UK’s Accession Working Group on behalf of the CPTPP members, allowing the UK to start market access negotiations with the members. Moving to the final stage of the accession process is a key milestone towards acceding to CPTPP and means the UK has demonstrated to members of the partnership that we are a high-standards, fair trading economy.

How will this agreement benefit UK exporters?

  • Tariff free trade on 99.9% of exports – This would bring new opportunities for UK car manufacturers and whisky distillers to sell to half a billion consumers

  • New opportunities for UK farmers – CPTPP markets will be responsible for 25% of world demand for meat by 2030

  • Stronger supply chains for goods – This could reduce dependency on single countries, leaving UK businesses less exposed to challenges like Covid

  • Hitch Britain to fast-growing markets – UK exports to CPTPP are set to soar by 65%, or £37bn, by 2030

  • Boost for UK service industries – Simpler visa rules and reduced red tape will make doing business easier

  • Cementing UK as a financial centre – Banks and financial services in Edinburgh and London will benefit from reduced barriers

  • Lift for tech start-ups and digital traders – UK firms will benefit from rules that support better cross-border data flows

  • No strings attached – We will retain control of our borders, money and laws

  • Strong workers’ rights and environmental standards – UK maintains its own standards on employment and the environment

  • Take a stand against unfair trade – Joining puts Britain on the front line in the fight against unfair trade

UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement

On 28 February 2022 the UK signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

This will mean zero-tariff trade for UK exporters with customers in New Zealand once the agreement enters into force early next year. It will also be easier for SMEs to access the New Zealand market as paperwork and red tape are reduced through modern provisions on digital trade. The agreement will also boost trade in environmental goods and services - essential for the transition to Net Zero.

The FTA should be worth up to £800m to the UK economy and raise bilateral trade by around 60%. 

Need further support trading with these markets?

The GMCC Trade team works closely with market experts who can help you navigate these markets. Simply email us at for more information and support.

Source: HMRC, BCC

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