Brexit superwoman Liz Truss says New Zealand deal will unlock door to £9trillion in trade

Liz Truss submits UK's application to join the CPTPP

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The International Trade secretary is busy trying to wrap out deals with countries across the globe, with the latest – an agreement with Serbia securing trade worth £682million – unveiled today. However, writing for, the MP for South West Norfolk said she was far from finished.

She explained: “Deepening our trading relationship with New Zealand will bring the UK a big step closer to joining them in one of the largest trading areas on earth: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“As part of this high-standards pact, we will couple ourselves with 11 of the world’s most vibrant economies, from Singapore and Japan to Mexico and Vietnam, covering £9trillion in GDP.”

Ms Truss confirmed the UK had applied to join the massive free trade area, comprising, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, in January.

In her op-ed she said: “CPTPP offers 95 percent tariff-free trade on goods between members and advanced provisions for services and digital trade.

“But unlike when we were in the European Union, we will remain a fully sovereign nation as this partnership is purely about free trade.”

Britain has already secured almost £900billion in trade in covering 66 countries plus the EU, she stressed.

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However she added: “Global Britain is just getting started. Joining CPTPP and striking an ambitious trade deal with New Zealand would take this to new heights.

“By satisfying the growing global appetite for high-quality British goods and services, our businesses will have more money to invest in their future, whether it involves hiring more people or expanding their operations.”

The benefits of the UK’s strategy would be felt domestically, Ms Truss added.

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She explained: “We will bring home the benefits of free and fair trade to every region and nation of the UK.

“As the Fraser of Allander Institute found, around 6.5 million jobs across the country are estimated to rely on exports. Put simply, Global Britain means local jobs.

“Our Trade and Investment Hubs in Belfast, Darlington, Cardiff and Edinburgh will maximise the global potential of local businesses, whether they be car manufacturers in the Midlands or Scotch whisky distillers.

“These hubs, alongside our Office for Investment and raft of freeports, will help us drive forward an exports-led and investment-led recovery across the UK.

“This is Global Britain in action: paving the way to prosperity alongside friends and family like New Zealand as we build back better for people across the UK and beyond our shores.”

Speaking today, Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP, said: “This is great news for businesses in the UK and Serbia, providing certainty and strengthening ties between both countries to drive growth and support economic recovery from COVID-19.

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“This agreement will support jobs up and down the country, drive further investment and open up opportunities for our exporters.”

FCDO Minister for the European Neighbourhood Wendy Morton added: “This is the latest agreement signed by the UK securing hundreds of millions of pounds in trade between our two countries supporting jobs and the wider economies.

“It demonstrates the UK’s commitment to civil society across Serbia with the promotion of governance and rule of law reforms, while tackling the threat posed by climate change by building a greener and more resilient future together.”

The preferential trading terms secured by the Agreement allow British business to trade as they did before January 1, 2021.

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