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Sunny Mann

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On 1 February, one year after leaving the EU, the UK submitted a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was agreed in principle in October 2015, attracting significant attention as a model for future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In January 2017 the newly elected Trump administration announced its withdrawal from the TPP, leaving the remaining 11 countries to agree the revised CPTPP in October 2018,…

On 20 January 2021 the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, announced that the UK intended to formally submit its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”). The CPTPP is a multilateral free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Discussions have been ongoing between the CPTPP members and the UK on the UK’s potential accession since 17…

The UK Government launched a Consultation on its new UK National Security and Investment Bill, and specifically the definition of the sectors where investments would trigger a mandatory notification. This Consultation closed on 6 January. Baker McKenzie welcomes the opportunity and responded to the Consultation. We have identified a number of key issues that merit consideration: A legal definition of “national security” to help businesses to understand whether a transaction raises genuine concerns.Significant tightening and…

On 30 December 2020, the EU and China reached an agreement “in principle” for a new EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (“CAI”) (see our previous update here). The CAI concludes seven years of investment negotiations, that begun in October 2013, and is expected to come into force later this year. In its press release (see here), the EU stated that the CAI was the “most ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded with a third…

Recent media reports indicate that the EU and China are making progress in long-running negotiations towards a deal to remove barriers to foreign investment. Agreement may potentially be reached by the end of 2020, after seven years of often difficult talks. Negotiations regarding an EU-China investment agreement initially kicked off in 2013. The aim of the agreement is to provide certainty, protection and predictable market access for EU and China investors, with the key sticking…

On 6 November 2020, the UK Government launched a website (see here) designed as a guide for digital and tech firms doing business in China. The guidance explains that the UK and China can develop new technology to tackle climate change for example, create new jobs and rebalance the British economy and includes case studies showing the scale of opportunities linked to China’s growing economy. However, it also seeks to raise awareness of what the…

Mandatory, CFIUS-style screening system in place for transactions in 17 industry sectors On 11 November 2020, the UK Government introduced the long-anticipated National Security & Investment Bill before Parliament. The new law will significantly expand the Government’s existing powers to review the national security implications of transactions and has been timed to coincide with the end of the Brexit Transition Period. The reforms follow concerns globally about foreign control of national businesses active in sensitive…

Last week, the EU published the results of its public consultation on the White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies. Out of the 150 responses received from EU member states, EU companies and foreign governments (including China and the US), feedback was generally positive and member states are generally in favour of taking legislative action. Amongst the responses were also warnings that the EU should take great care to avoid any…

On 23 September 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) ended a public consultation into proposals to create new review mechanisms aimed at countering distortive effects of foreign subsidies in the EU single market. The premise of the proposals is that some companies operating within the EU may be at an unfair competitive advantage, if they are receiving foreign subsidies not available to their EU counterparts due to state aid rules. The new mechanisms would apply to…