The British Government has formally applied to join the free trade area made up of emerging economies in the Pacific.
Officially called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the group is made up of 11 nations – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Joining the £9 trillion partnership will cut tariffs for UK industries including food and drink, and cars, while also creating new opportunities for modern industries like tech and services, ultimately supporting and creating high-value jobs across the UK.
Unlike EU membership, joining does not require the UK to cede control over laws, borders, or money.
In 2019, Scotland exported £2.4bn worth of goods to CPTPP member countries and accession to the free trade area would boost these further. CPTPP removes tariffs on 95% of goods making it cheaper and easier to trade between members.
Currently, exports of Scotch whisky to Malaysia are slapped with a 165% tax. This would reduce the tariff to 0%, opening the market for distilleries across Scotland.
John Lamont MP, believes that accession to this free trade partnership will be a boost for Borders and Scottish businesses.
John Lamont MP said:
“Striking trade deals across the globe will be vital as we rebuild our economy after the hit of Covid-19.
“Scotland produces some of the finest products in the world and reducing tariffs on exports to these emerging markets would be a boost for jobs and our economy.
“I want to see Scottish and British goods being used and consumed across the world. Reducing tariffs would make it easier to export whisky and automobiles.
“However, it is important that our NHS is protected and our environmental standards are maintained. I am glad that the UK Government is absolutely committed to upholding these values.”