The United Kingdom (UK) is officially set to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the CPTPP Ministerial-level Meeting, which is scheduled to take place on 15-16 July 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand.

As we previously reported, the UK will be the first country to accede to the CPTPP outside the original signatories States.  The decision to accede comes on the heels of Chile officially joining the CPTPP in February of this year.  Other States Parties to the CPTPP include Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and Peru.  Brunei Darussalam is the only signatory which has not yet completed the ratification process.  The CPTPP will become binding upon the UK 60 days after it deposits its instrument of accession.

The attention now shifts to other countries which have expressed an interest in joining the CPTPP, notably China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, South Korea, and Uruguay.  The CPTPP Commission has already adopted detailed rules and criteria governing the accession of aspirant economies.  According to New Zealand, Chair of the CPTPP Ministerial Commission Meeting for 2023, a key priority in the upcoming meeting will be to support the expansion of CPTPP by economies that are willing to demonstrate they can meet and adhere to its high standards, and to advance efficient and fair accession rules and processes that will make the CPTPP attractive to aspirant States.  Moreover, a key objective for New Zealand is the effective and improved implementation of the CPTPP and the promotion of inclusive and sustainable trade.