October 14, 2015: The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has given a cautious welcome to the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
The US, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Singapore and six other Pacific rim countries reached an agreement recently on the regional free-trade agreement that will cover approximately 40 percent of the global marketplace.
The agreement includes a series of member agreements to lower tariffs, modernise their customs border clearance and ensure a level playing field for competition.
BIFA Director General, Robert Keen said: "Whilst the TPP still has to be approved by the US Senate and ratified by governments from all 12 nations, it is generally believed that the agreement will substantially accelerate the flow of goods through supply chains in a region with the world's fastest growing economies.
"Lowering tariffs and streamlining customs clearance operations at international borders are important to facilitating international trade, in which BIFA members have a key role.
"As freight forwarders, our members recognize that liberalized trade agreements are critical to business both large and small that seek to expand their markets."
In a related announcement, UPS has also welcomed the TPP: "The TPP is an exciting development for the Asia Pacific region, creating more opportunities for companies to find new customers. The TPP addresses many complexities surrounding cross-border clearance which we hope will enhance predictability, boost confidence, and allow more small businesses to participate in trade," said Nando Cesarone, President, UPS Asia Pacific Region.
"Each day, UPS alone handles six percent of U.S. GDP and two percent of global GDP. TPP will help UPS customers across multiple sectors by bringing down tariffs, accelerating the release of goods through customs, and supporting the participation of small businesses in regional and global supply chains," said David Abney, CEO of UPS.