No chance for Britain to join the North American trade pact

Boris Johnson

The British government does not come up with free trade pacts as easily as it has thought.

Washington/London According to a foreign trade expert, Great Britain currently has little prospect of participating in large trade alliances. “Accession to the CPTPP trade pact of the Pacific countries and above all to the North American USMCA are not realistic at first, at least not in the near future,” said Emanuel Adam from the British-American Chamber of Commerce of the German Press Agency.

Adam admitted that it was still too early to talk about joining the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). “However, this idea seems a bit far-fetched.”

The free trade agreement with the USA, an important project after Brexit, hoped for by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has moved a long way off. US President Joe Biden has made it clear that such a bilateral agreement is currently not a priority and is also critical of London’s role in the dispute with the EU Commission over Brexit rules for the British province of Northern Ireland.

As a result, British media reported that Britain was trying to get admitted to the USMCA.

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“It’s not at all clear whether the USMCA will allow other parties to join, especially since joining would mean renegotiating the bargain pact,” said trade expert Adam. “In addition, the UK already has agreements with Canada and Mexico.”

Also unlikely to join the CPTPP

The situation with the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) is also complicated. “Negotiations to join the CPTPP are only just beginning, and China’s intention to seek membership as well could complicate the process.”

The British-American Chamber of Commerce is calling for a new transatlantic economic cooperation “in view of the fact that there will not be a trade pact between the USA and Great Britain for the time being”. For example, Washington and London could agree specific agreements on data transfers, trading in digital services and technologies, and further expanding local trade promotion, Adam said.

This would benefit small and medium-sized companies in particular: “In the medium term, this could have more weight than long negotiations with an uncertain outcome.”

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