'I don't have figures': Business sec says Pacific trade deal will have bigger benefits than claimed but can't back it up

31 March 2023, 10:14

Kemi Badenoch was unable to provide figures for her claims of the CPTPP's benefits
Kemi Badenoch was unable to provide figures for her claims of the CPTPP's benefits. Picture: LBC

By Will Taylor

Britain's new trade deal with Pacific rim countries could have bigger benefits for the UK's economic growth, the business secretary has claimed – while saying she could not provide figures to back that claim up.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Kemi Badenoch hailed Britain's agreement to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

It takes the UK into a trade deal with countries including Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico.

But critics say it will only add 0.08% to gross national product over 10 years and question why Britain has been so keen to join a Pacific-based agreement, having left a trading bloc on its doorstep in the shape of the EU.

Asked about that figure on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Ms Badenoch said those figures came from 2014 and said: "That's not how people should look at this deal.

Read more: Rishi Sunak hails the UK joining Indo-Pacific bloc in Britain's biggest trade deal since Brexit

Kemi Badenoch on trans-Pacific trade pact

"Think about it like a start up. When you are a big company buying a start up it's not about what you are going to get from it today, it's about the potential for tomorrow."

Pushed to provide a percentage of growth to back that claim up, she said: "I don’t have figures like that, and I'm always suspicious of these forecasts. They are constantly revised.

"It's about looking at what the population of those countries is going to be. The projection is that CPTPP will be bigger in 2050 than the EU, we are going to be a part of that.

"Those economies are growing, they are doing well, and we want to be trading freely with them, just as we do with the EU.

"So we're increasing our market access."

She added: "We know the potential – you can't analyse it that way. I'm not going into a market and buying fish.

"You can look at the potential, if we don’t use the deal properly, then the figures won't be good. If we use them well, they will be very good."

Read more: Donald Trump parties at Mar-a-Lago mansion just hours after being told he faces '30 charges' over Stormy Daniels money

Ms Badenoch said if more countries including China, Costa Rica and Ecuador sign up, the projections would change.

While CPTPP has been criticised, its supporters point to the benefits of joining an agreement in a part of the world that is expected to become even more economically important in the future.

The deal reduces many tariffs and eases restrictions on trade. It represents about 13% of the world's income, and the Government described it as the biggest trade deal London has struck since Brexit.

Britain is the first European country to join the bloc, but the gains will not be headline grabbers in the short term. The UK has trade agreements with all of the member states except for Brunei and Malaysia.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Live
David Cameron has warned that Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative party

General Election LIVE: Cameron warns Farage is 'trying to destroy the Conservatives', as Labour tackles NHS

The coach of one of the boys said he was 'not a monster'

'He's not a monster - he just didn't have the right role models,' claims boxing coach of 12-year-old machete murderer

Wayne Lineker was punched

Wayne Lineker's 'own brand of excess and drunkenness' to blame for attack that saw him knocked out, politician says

Alan Bates, Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin were given honours in the birthday list

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted in Birthday Honours, as Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin made dames

Exclusive
x

Domestic abuse cases during Euros ‘could double’ as police seek to understand link between football and violence

Three drones have been seized by Merseyside Police after they were flown over Taylor Swift's concert in Liverpool's Anfield Stadium

Three drones seized after being flown over Taylor Swift's concerts at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates given knighthood in King’s Birthday Honours

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted in King’s Birthday Honours but says he isn't a 'hero'

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work