UK, Japan Sign Trade Agreement

Britain's first major post-Brexit deal . . . 

Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu have signed the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The deal, struck Friday, is the first large, post-Brexit agreement the U.K. has signed. It includes tariff reductions on key British agricultural products such as pork and beef and cutting-edge digital and data provisions.

Wins for both sides . . .

The deal was concluded at an expedited pace – taking just four and a half months to complete. The agreement is mainly focused on getting Britain’s tariffs on Japanese cars to zero by 2026, the same rate as is in the Japan-EU trade agreement. The trade deal will come into force on January 1, 2021, and allow duty-free access on 99 per cent of British exports to Japan. Which, according to British government calculations, could increase British trade by C$26.1 billion compared to 2018.

Will the UK join the CPTPP?

The U.K. took a significant first step toward joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) last month when senior U.K. trade officials met for the first time with chief negotiators from all 11 CPTPP member economies to discuss potential U.K. accession to the bloc. Since Canada was one of the founding members and was motivated to join the CPTPP primarily by significant bilateral trade opportunities with Japan, Canada has a keen interest in how the post-Brexit U.K. progresses its trade relationships with Japan and other Asia Pacific economies.