UK, Canada secure "rollover" trade deal, pave way for new "tailor-made" talks next year

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LONDON, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Britain and Canada on Saturday secured a "rollover" trade agreement, which is expected to pave the way for starting negotiations for "a new tailor-made" bilateral trade deal in 2021, said the British Department for International Trade (DIT).

"The UK and Canada have locked in their existing trading relationship, worth 20 billion pounds (about 26.57 billion U.S. dollars), and agreed to begin negotiating a new more ambitious trade deal as early as next year," said a statement issued by the DIT.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, joined by their respective trade ministers, sealed the "agreement in principle" via a video call on Saturday, a move to "roll over current EU-Canada trading arrangements and begin negotiations on a new, bespoke UK-Canada trade deal in 2021", said the DIT, referring to the trade arrangements between the European Union (EU) and the North American country.

A fresh "more advanced deal" is expected to go further in areas including digital trade, the environment and women's economic empowerment, the statement added.

"We look forward to striking a new more ambitious deal next year with the aim of creating more opportunities for businesses and improving the lives of people across the country," said British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.

An estimated 42 million pounds (about 55.8 million dollars) tariff on British exports has been saved, the statement said, adding that rollover provisions will support the country's automotive manufacturing, and food and drink industries.

DIT said that the bilateral agreement also takes Britain "one step closer to accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)", of which Canada is a member.

Effective since Dec. 30, 2018, the CPTPP is a trade pact among 11 countries, including Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Chile, and Mexico, whose aggregate gross domestic product accounts for 13 percent of the world economy.

In September, Britain announced to have taken "a major step" in the process of joining the CPTPP, with the country's senior trade officials having "opened discussions" on the potential accession with chief negotiators from all 11 members of the group.

In October, Britain signed an economic partnership agreement with Japan, as its first major trade deal as an independent trading nation after Brexit.

"In under two years, the UK government has agreed trade deals with 53 countries accounting for 164 billion pounds (about 217.89 billion dollars) of UK bilateral trade," the statement said against the backdrop of the current impasse of the trade talks between the EU and Britain. Enditem

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