Fast running train through London, via Istock

UK CPTPP deal could spell growth for rail sector supply chain

Representing the biggest trade deal since Britain left the European Union, the UK has signed a major deal to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade area of 11 countries spanning the Indo-Pacific.

The agreement comes after two years of negotiations by the Department for Business and Trade, unlocking the potential for Britain to join a dynamic group of world leading economies, signifying potential to regenerate the once stymied growth that has resulted from Brexit.

Through a membership with the CPTPP, the UK will see an economy bolstered with more than 99% of UK goods exported to countries within the partnership being eligible for zero tariffs, including key UK exports such as machinery, which could spell significant growth and advantages for the rail sector supply chain.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“We are at our heart an open and free-trading nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms. As part of CPTPP, the UK is now in a prime position in the global economy to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth and innovation.”

At a time when infrastructural rail projects, such as HS2, are exceeding budgetary projections, cutting costs through the supply chain will aid in mitigating the increased expenditure that project delivery is reliant on.

Joining the bloc will see red tape for services slashed and increased flexibility through the removal of all the bilateral trade agreements the UK has in place with CPTPP members, helping exporters diversify their supply chains and create new export opportunities.

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the trade body for the UK rail supply community, has welcomed the announcement today, with Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), saying:

“The announcement that the UK is joining the CPTPP could be positive news for railway suppliers. Most of the CPTPP countries already recognise the power of rail as a sustainable form of transport, as they continue to develop their networks. This trade deal cuts tariffs and so enables the UK rail supply chain to export its world-class goods and services to a wider global market, benefiting not just the supply sector but also UK plc more broadly.”

Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here.  

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