What the U.K.’s CPTPP accession means for Canada and the Asia Pacific

On March 31, member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) concluded negotiations on the U.K.’s accession to the free trade agreement (FTA). Canada and the other 10 CPTPP members — Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — agreed to the U.K.’s accession after almost two years of negotiations.  

Work left to finalize the deal

The accession process remains incomplete. The negotiation outcome must undergo a legal review and domestic ratification among all CPTPP members as well as the U.K. If the U.K. joins the agreement, Canadian exports are expected to increase, and Canadian businesses will gain more opportunities to integrate into international markets and supply chains. Additionally, the expansion of the CPTPP helps Canada to promote a rules-based trade order in the Asia Pacific region.  

What about the other applicants?

The U.K.’s accession creates momentum for discussing the other applicants interested in joining the CPTPP. The list of CPTPP applicants includes China, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay. Other countries considering joining the CPTPP, South Korea and Thailand, may also be incentivized to step up their efforts to apply for accession. To join the agreement, the applicants will have to meet CPTPP standards and work with all members to meet their demands, as the accession of new members requires unanimous agreement among CPTPP members.