Regulatory Constraints and the Political Economy of the UK’s Joining the CPTPP
Morita-Jaeger, M. (2023). Regulatory Constraints and the Political Economy of the UK’s Joining the CPTPP. In: Lee, Cy., Reilly, M. (eds) China, Taiwan, the UK and the CPTPP. Taiwan and World Affairs. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-3197-2_4
Published 25 September 2023
The UK’s decision to join the CPTPP marks the first time a country outside the Asia–Pacific region has joined the trade agreement. The move was motivated by the UK’s Global Britain agenda following its departure from the EU. Initially, the UK hoped to strike a trade deal with the US, but as interest waned, its focus shifted to the CPTPP. However, the economic benefits of joining the CPTPP appear limited, and some stakeholders are concerned about the potential domestic impact. In addition, the UK’s regulatory approach differs from the US’s market-driven model, with high standards for food safety, environment, consumer protection, and human rights. These standards could be threatened by the CPTPP, particularly in areas such as digital trade and food safety. There is also a tension between the Johnson administration’s desire to diverge from EU regulations and the public’s desire to maintain regulatory alignment. The UK’s joining of the CPTPP is thus a unique case, reflecting its history, ideology, and culture.