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CPTPP

Volume 679: debated on Thursday 3 September 2020

What recent discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. (905349)

What recent discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. (905364)

We have taken strong steps towards joining the CPTPP through engaging with all 11 member countries on UK accession to the CPTPP. In July, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State chaired an event with all CPTPP Heads of Mission in London, and next week she will join a CPTPP meeting chaired by Mexico.

Indespension, at the heart of my constituency, manufactures top-quality trailers, whether for motorbiking, camping or for transporting a mechanical digger, so I am sure my right hon. Friend would have them as his No. 1 choice. In the name of equal opportunities, should not everyone around the world have that opportunity as well?

I absolutely share my hon. Friend’s enthusiasm for promoting the UK’s manufacturing exports around the world. He will be interested to know that north-west business goods exports to CPTPP countries were worth over £2 billion in 2019, and road vehicles were the top export within that, at £333 million. So I am sure that manufacturing exports from Bolton will have a fantastic future, with his support and that of this Department.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answers so far. Next door to the CPTPP grouping area is Taiwan. Could the Minister provide an update on the UK’s trade relationship with Taiwan?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. I take a very strong interest in our superb bilateral trade relationship with Taiwan, which has actually provided a lot of assistance to the United Kingdom during the pandemic. This autumn we will hold our annual trade talks with my Taiwanese counterpart, with whom I first engaged in such talks in 2016.

Like us, Taiwan, through its membership of the World Trade Organisation, is committed to the same values of free trade and free markets as we are, and we look forward to deepening our relationship with Taiwan in the coming trade talks.