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21 Jan 2018 7:35
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    NZ in talks with Britain for TPP inclusion

    New Zealand has been involved in talks with Britain over its potential inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a post-Brexit trade solution.


    The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership could be in for another rebranding if Britain is successful in talks, including with New Zealand, to join the agreement.

    It's understood Britain is looking at options to join the 11-nation agreement, which is in the final stages of negotiation after a bouncing between completed and dead in the water at the APEC Summit in Vietnam in November.

    Talks with New Zealand began as early as November, when Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox held meetings in Wellington with Trade Minister David Parker.

    Mr Parker told NZ Newswire on Wednesday the pair "briefly discussed" the possible inclusion of Britain in the deal, but Mr Parker has appeared to pour cold water on the idea, at least in the short-term.

    "The CPTPP is not in effect yet so there is nothing for them to join," Mr Parker said.

    "Also the UK is not in a position to negotiate substantively because they haven't finished negotiating Brexit."

    Britain cannot sign any trade agreements until after it has left the European Union, expected around March 2019.

    According to Britain's Financial Times, Mr Fox is developing a proposal to join the TPP to open up post-Brexit trade opportunities.

    If Britain were to join the deal it would make them the first nation not bordering the Pacific or South China Sea, potentially making the Trans-Pacific Partnership name redundant.

    Four elements of the current agreement, the third incarnation, are currently being renegotiated by Canada, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

    The deal could be finalised later this year.

    The inclusion of Britain would mark a return to a 12 member agreement, after the withdrawal of the US by President Donald Trump last year.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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