Ukraine Planning to Apply for TPP Membership

Reuters file photo
Ukrainian flag is covered with grains in this picture illustration taken in May 2022.

WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — The Ukrainian government plans to apply for membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement by the end of this year, a senior Ukrainian government official has told a local news agency.

If Ukraine follows in the footsteps of Britain to join the TPP, the free trade bloc will become a huge economic zone going beyond the Pacific framework. In late March, Japan, Canada and nine other current TPP members agreed to admit Britain as the trade zone’s 12th member.

According to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister and Trade Representative Taras Kachka unveiled a plan for the Ukrainian government to soon make a decision on the country’s application to join the TPP, when he visited Washington for an economy-related event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in mid-April.

Ukraine could receive notifications this summer at the earliest from the TPP member countries for launching negotiations on its participation in the free trade deal, according to the report.

Kachka referred to a joint declaration on the revised bilateral free trade agreement signed in mid-April by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kachka said that Ukraine’s strengthening of its economic relations with Canada, a TPP member, will hopefully help build momentum for the European country’s participation in the TPP.

By joining the TPP, Ukraine apparently aims to accelerate its efforts to restore its economy devastated by Russia’s aggression, pundits said.

Noting that it took about two years for Britain to win approval for joining the TPP after applying for membership, Kachka said Ukraine hopes that it can become a TPP member much faster by taking advantage of the existing agreement with Canada.

Currently, China, Taiwan, Ecuador and Costa Rica have applied for TPP membership.