Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (Accession)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:52 pm on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities 1:52 pm, 17th June 2020

As we seek to recover from coronavirus, it is incredibly important that we protect and expand our exports, which represent 31% of the UK economy and include vital industries such as the steel industry, the car industry and the food and drink industry. We must find new markets for those exports and link to fast-growing parts of the world. We must also protect against protectionism. One of the benefits of signing free trade agreements is avoiding tariffs on our goods and services, and CPTPP represents 13% of the global economy—16% if we add the UK—and includes fast-growing parts of the world. At a time when we are seeking to revive the economy, this is exactly the type of agreement we should be joining. In parallel, of course, we are negotiating with the EU to secure a good agreement with it. It is not an either/or; we need to be trading with all the world.