Published on: April 3, 2023

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

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

Why in news? The U.K acceded to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak describing the outcome as an example of “post-Brexit freedoms”.


  • The agreement will now need to be ratified by Westminster and each of the CPTPP countries.

What is CPTPP?

  • CPTPP is a free trade agreement (FTA) that was agreed in 2018 between 11 countries Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • It evolved from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was never ratified due to the withdrawal of the United States
  • Britain will become the 12th member, and the first to join since the partnership since its inception.

What CPTPP covers?

  • Trade in goods: CPTPP eliminates tariffs and reduces barriers for 98% of exports to CPTPP member countries.
  • Rules of origin and origin procedures: British exporters and producers have clear and favourable rules that determine which goods are considered originating and procedures that establish obligations for importers, exporters and producers if the importer wants to make a claim for preferential tariff treatment. Companies can approach the customs administration in the market they are targeting to receive an advance ruling on the origin of their product.
  • Customs and trade facilitation: Britain and other CPTPP countries are working to keep customs procedures simple, effective, clear and predictable. This reduces processing times at the border and makes it easier to move goods between countries.
  • Regulatory cooperation and conformity assessment: CPTPP helps reduce unnecessary regulatory requirements. It also includes measures that make it easier for Canadians to do business in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Government procurement: Britain companies will receive the same treatment as domestic suppliers when bidding on government procurement opportunities in CPTPP member countries.
  • Trade in services and labour mobility: CPTPP increases predictability and eliminates many barriers encountered at the border, such as quotas and labour market tests, making it easier for Britain business persons to travel for business or to work temporarily in CPTPP member countries.
  • Investment: Investment provisions in CPTPP are designed to give investors greater certainty, stability and protection for their investments and to secure access to the Canadian and Indo-Pacific markets.
  • Intellectual property (IP): CPTPP establishes a regional standard for IP protection and enforcement in the Indo-Pacific, providing creators and innovators with a transparent and predictable framework for operating in CPTPP member countries.
  • Labour and the environment: CPTPP includes clear commitments to uphold CPTPP members’ respective standards on labour and environment and not to undermine them for commercial gain.
  • Inclusive trade: CPTPP advances U.K inclusive approach to trade with provisions to ensure the benefits of trade are more widely shared, including with under-represented groups such as women, SMEs and Indigenous peoples.

Sectoral Impact

  • Britain has agreed a quota on beef imports, but did not agree to lower food standards, under which hormone-treated beef is banned.
  • Tariffs on palm oil from Malaysia will be liberalised, and Britain also agreed tariff reductions on bananas, rice and crab sticks following requests from Peru, Vietnam and Singapore respectively.
  • Britain highlighted that 99% of exports to CPTPP would be eligible for zero tariffs, including for on cheese, cars, chocolate, machinery, gin and whisky.
  • The phased elimination of Malaysia’s 165% tariff on whisky was welcomed , “the UK’s accession to CPTPP will open up new opportunities for Scotch Whisky and other UK products in key markets in the region.