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Japan deal can speed up trans-Pacific trade access, UK says

The UK and Japan have announced agreement in principle a new free trade agreement. This is the first major trade deal that the UK has established since leaving the European Union in January. It will increase trade with Japan by an estimated £15.2 billion.

During negotiations, the UK government said it believed the UK leather industry could be among the sectors to benefit the most from a free trade agreement with Japan. Beef exports could also receive a boost.

UK international trade secretary, Liz Truss, said the deal was an important step towards joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which she said would help place the UK “at the centre of a network of modern free trade agreements with like-minded friends and allies”.

CPTPP is the successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that 12 countries, including Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, Vietnam and Mexico, signed in 2016. However, after President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2017, it failed to come into force.

Seven CPTPP signatories have already begun lowering tariffs on cross-border trade.

Image shows the store that Northampton-based leather footwear manufacturer Tricker’s opened in Tokyo in 2019.

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