UK's Badenoch to attend trans-Pacific CPTPP meeting on sidelines of APEC

FILE PHOTO: State Opening of the Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -British Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch plans to attend a meeting of a major trans-Pacific trade pact, which does not include the United States, on Wednesday on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.

It will be Britain's first attendance at a meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) after London signed up to the trade bloc in New Zealand in July, a British official said.

U.S. officials had no immediate information about the CPTPP meeting, saying that the United States had not been invited.

CPTPP is a free trade agreement sealed in 2018 between 11 countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - after the former Trump administration withdrew the United States from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Britain is the only European member of CPTPP and the first new country to join since it was created in 2018.

"Joining CPTPP will link the UK to some of the world's most dynamic economies, a club that is worth 12 trillion pounds ($14.99 trillion) of gross domestic product," the official said.

Details about the CPTPP meeting and which countries will participate were not immediately available.

To date, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Taiwan have applied to join the trade pact, and South Korea, Thailand, and Ukraine are also considering membership.

The United States has said it is not interested in joining the trade bloc, despite calls from some lawmakers to sign up. Washington is advancing its own initiative, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

($1 = 0.8006 pounds)

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Susan Fenton, Robert Birsel)