TPP Members Seen Opening Door to Britain

REUTERS/Phil Noble
Union Jack flag flies above a Unionist mural in Larne, Northern Ireland December 30, 2020.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan, Australia and other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal are seen reaching a broad agreement in the near future on Britain joining the framework, it was learned Wednesday.

In July, officials from the 11 member nations and Britain are expected to sign off on the country’s TPP entry in New Zealand.

Britain will join the framework following domestic procedures at signatory countries, becoming the first to join the pact since it came into force in 2018.

The TPP deal features tough standards on free trade and economic activities, including on intellectual property protection, as well as tariff elimination for farm and industrial goods.

In order to join the group, countries are required to fully comply with the standards. Membership must also be approved by all existing member nations.

The current TPP members reached the conclusion that Britain can meet the standards, based mainly on discussions among chief negotiators held in Vietnam late last month.

Britain initially showed reluctance to open up its agricultural market to some countries, but it is believed to have agreed to remove almost all tariffs on farm and industrial goods as required under the TPP deal.