News Article

Britain, Japan plan swift trade deal

Japan’s foreign ministry has reported that Britain and Japan have agreed to begin discussions on an early trade deal, as Britain recovers from decades of outsourcing its trade policy to the European Union.

Britain is embarking on free trade agreements with countries around the world with preliminary discussions with the United States started last month.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi embraced the interest expressed by British Trade Minister Liz Truss to join the Trans-Pacific free trade pact, a foreign ministry statement said.

“Both ministers agreed to launch negotiations to establishing a new economic partnership and work towards an early agreement to secure business continuity for both countries,” the statement said.

Britain hopes ultimately to join the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and sees trade negotiations with Japan as a step towards that goal.

Japan’s trade minister earlier said that Japan would call for an early abolition of tariffs on automobile and auto parts in negotiations and follow high-level regulations on digital trade in a post-Brexit trade agreement with Britain.

On Friday, EU and British negotiators said they had made relatively little progress in their latest round of discussions about a post-Brexit trade deal, with just weeks remaining to extend a year-end deadline to agree on a deal.

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