LONDON – British trade secretary Liz Truss said Tuesday she hopes to visit Japan by the end of October for talks on a potential bilateral trade agreement and the possibility of entering the revised TPP.
During a teleconference, Truss told her Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko of her plan and spoke of Britain’s commitment to a future trade agreement after leaving the European Union by its Oct. 31 deadline, according to the Department for International Trade.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Brexit hard-liner and former foreign secretary, became prime minister on July 24. His administration is seeking to conclude its own trade agreement with Japan.
“Japan is one of the U.K.’s most important trading partners,” said Truss, who was appointed by Johnson last month. “We are working with Japan to make sure our trade relationship thrives after Brexit,” she added.
“After we leave the EU, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put British businesses at the center of the world’s fastest growing regions, and a close partnership will be a key part of this future,” she told Seko.
Japan is the leading economy in the revised TPP, which is officially called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The free trade framework took force in December, lowering tariffs on agriculture and other products among its 11 members, which include Australia, Canada and New Zealand.