January 3, 2018 / 10:07 AM / a year ago

Liam Fox - Too soon to seek membership of Trans-Pacific trade deal

BEIJING (Reuters) - British trade minister Liam Fox said on Wednesday it was too soon to seek membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact.

“We don’t know what the success of the TPP is going to yet look like, because it isn’t yet negotiated. So it would be a little bit premature for us to be wanting to sign up to something that we’re not sure what the final details will look like,” Fox told Reuters in an interview.

“However, we have said that we want to be an open outward looking country, and therefore it would be foolish for us to rule out any particular outcomes for the future. So we’ll keep an open mind, and we’ll want to talk to our global trading partners.”

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Britain had started informal talks about joining the bloc in a bid to boost post-Brexit exports. It quoted a junior trade minister saying there was no geographical restriction on the deal.

(This version of the story refiles to remove repetition in the first paragraph.)

Reporting by Michael Martina, Writing by William James in London; Editing by Alistair Smout/Guy Faulconbridge

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