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UK's Drive for New Trade Agreements

United Kingdom has agreed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is a trade deal between 11 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan. The CPTPP is called "comprehensive" because it covers a wide range of issues related to trade and investment, and "progressive" because it includes commitments on issues such as labor rights, environmental protection, and intellectual property rights.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a Free Trade Agreement between 11 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan.

A Free Trade Agreement aims to reduce or eliminate trade barriers such as taxes and quotas on imported goods, with the goal of increasing trade and economic cooperation between countries by making it easier and cheaper to do business across borders.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was signed on March 8th, 2018, in Chile and came into force on December 30th, 2018. The UK has recently become the 12th country to join the CPTPP as a post-Brexit move to strengthen its trade ties with countries outside of Europe. Since the UK left the European Union on January 31, 2020, it has been seeking new trade agreements with other countries and joining the CPTPP is seen as one way to achieve this goal.

Brexit was a process that took the UK an entire year to transition from the European Union's rules and regulations. Even after Brexit, the UK and the EU still have some trade deals and agreements in place. The UK cannot completely cut off from the EU and must negotiate new trade deals as a singular country. This means that the UK has to face the challenging process of negotiating and securing new trade deals.

As countries worldwide, including the UK, are no longer members of the European Union, they can no longer enjoy the benefits they once had. It is a reality that any European Union member country that decides to leave the alliance will face the same fate as the UK is experiencing today. Additionally, 2020 was the year of the pandemic, which lasted for two years and had a significant impact on almost every country's economy.

In 2022, Russia-Ukraine conflict started during the tenure of Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister of the UK. Johnson was a vocal supporter of Ukraine, and his government provided substantial aid and military assistance to the country while he was in office. Overall, the UK's economy has faced significant challenges in recent years due to Brexit, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Despite these difficulties, the UK signed a free trade agreement with Canada, the first non-European country to do so, shortly after Brexit. In April 2021, the Canadian Prime Minister called the free trade agreement between Canada and the UK an "easy deal" due to their shared membership in G7 Nation and NATO alliance. Despite leaving the European Union, the UK still maintains some trade deals with the EU, but there are concerns about the long-term health of the UK economy. The UK's GDP has recently fallen below that of India, indicating a need for help to improve its economy.

In order to compensate for the trade agreements lost as a result of leaving the European Union, the UK must establish new trade deals with other countries. Failure to do so could result in difficult times for the UK economy. To address this need, the UK is joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement of Trans-Pacific Partnership. Negotiations for the UK-India Free Trade Agreement are also currently underway. Looking at a world map, the UK is now separated from the EU, and while there are some existing trade deals and agreements between them, the volume of trade is limited. The situation is not as it once was.

While Canada has a free trade agreement with the UK, the same cannot be said for the United States. Although a proposal has been made, there is currently no free trade agreement between the US and the UK. However, by joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the UK will gain access to markets in 11 countries and vice versa. Furthermore, these countries will also have access to the UK market. In Asia, India, also known as Bharat, is a significant player. Negotiating with Bharat has been difficult, and the negotiations have taken a long time.

This is primarily due to the UK's unfavorable terms and conditions, particularly with regards to key issues such as immigration, the automotive industry, and the mobility of professionals. Additionally, India has taken a firm stance on these issues. There are also other issues that need to be addressed, such as the UK government's lack of action against Khalistan and Pakistani elements that are conspiring against the country.

On 22nd March, the Indian High Commission in London was attacked by a Khalistani mob, which is not the first time that the Indian High Commission in London has been attacked by Pakistanis in the past. Such actions are deemed unacceptable, prompting New Delhi to decrease security outside the British High Commission in Delhi. This response indicates that India, or Bharat, is no longer eager to sign bilateral or multilateral trade deals due to the fear of being left out. Instead, India now prioritizes science and free trade agreements. India's deals with Australia and UAE demonstrate its strength, as India is not desperate for trade deals.

This was evident in 2019 when Prime Minister Modi withdrew from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, one of the world's largest trading blocks, at the eleventh hour due to its unfavorable terms for India and its benefit to China. As a result, the free trade agreement between India and the UK is undergoing challenging negotiations in its fifth round. India is well aware of the UK's economic situation, enabling India to assert power and dictate terms. Meanwhile, the UK is keen to sign free trade agreements with other countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. However, this region includes Western allies such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea.

In addition to Taiwan, the United States, as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, all have historical ties to the UK, making the UK a sort of father figure to these nations. However, in the current geopolitical landscape, the US is the dominant force in this group of nations, and they all follow its lead. For the UK to enter the Asian market, it would have to go through the Pacific route since India and China are the primary gatekeepers of Asia, and it is challenging to gain entry to this market without their cooperation. The strong political leadership of these emerging markets makes it difficult for outsiders to gain a foothold. Even Western politicians acknowledge this fact, which is why there are frequent anti-India narratives coming from the West.

For example, if Country A is trying to secure a deal with Country B, but Country B is firm in its negotiation, Country A may indirectly support radical groups that hold extreme views to create problems and undermine Country B's negotiating position.

Country A and Country B will work together in a discreet manner to support radical elements that hold extreme views without drawing attention to their involvement. They may even express concerns about containing such acts in private discussions. By supporting these groups, Country A can gain leverage in future negotiations with Country B.

The UK is eager to secure new trade deals with other countries to replace the ones it had as a member of the European Union. Therefore, the UK is joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and aggressively seeking free trade agreements with other nations.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Pranav Srivastava
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Authentication No: AP3100761122939-10-0423

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