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BBC – The UK is applying to join a free trade area made up of 11 Asia and Pacific nations, under its post-Brexit plans.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – or CPTPP – includes Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.
In total, it covers a market of around 500 million people, generating more than 13% of the world’s income.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will make the request on Monday, with negotiations expected in the spring.
There are 11 countries in the CPTPP trade agreement formed in 2018: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The US was originally in talks to be part of the CPTPP, but former President Donald Trump pulled out when he took office.
The main purpose of the deal is to cut trade tariffs – a form of tax, like a border tax – between member countries.
It includes a promise to eliminate or reduce 95% of import charges – although some of these charges are kept to protect some home-made products, for example Japan’s rice and Canada’s dairy industry.
In return, countries must cooperate on regulations, such as food standards. However, these standards and regulations do not have to be identical, and member countries can strike their own trade deals.
The UK is the first non-founding country to apply and, if successful, would be its second biggest economy after Japan.