EU, Japan seal free trade in signal to Trump

07 July, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Japan EU to sign free trade deal on eve of G20

Tusk took the opportunity to scoff at arguments in Britain for Brexit on the grounds that London could cut itself better trade deals without the EU's economic weight behind it.

After four years of talks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker announced a deal in Brussels that will form a market of almost 640 million people and account for almost one-third of the global economy.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan on Thursday signed a "political agreement" in Brussels where they agreed to a free trade pact ahead of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Enterprise Ireland divisional manager for worldwide sales and partnering Leo Adams said Japan was an important export market for Irish firms.

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The Japanese government had viewed the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, which was signed by 12 countries including Japan and the United States, as a pillar of its growth strategy.

Japan is the third largest economy in the world and is Ireland's biggest trade partner in Asia after China and the largest source of FDI into Ireland from Asia.

Ms. Malmstrom responded this week by saying organizations like Greenpeace would be opposed to "any trade agreement", ostensibly a criticism of the group's stance against trade liberalization.

Divisions within the EU over the issue could prove significant when the EU-Japan deal faces ratification in the bloc's more than 30 regional and national parliaments. "Although we can not be too optimistic about the prospect of the talks, I strongly hope to strike a basic agreement on Japan-EU EPA this time around as I head into the talks".

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The Europeans are expected to scrap a 10 percent tariff on passenger cars made in Japan, over a period of seven years. This ultimately increases the cost to businesses and is also the same for Japanese businesses operating in Europe.

The European Union and Japan have formally agreed on an outline of a free trade deal, the BBC reported.

Once the deal goes into effect, it will be cheaper to buy European wine, pasta and chocolate in Japan and easier to sell Japanese cars and sake in the EU.

The Commission has insisted that the EU-Japan will be the most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU and, as such, will for the first time include a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

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China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doka La area near the Bhutan trijunction for nearly a month. Experts called on both sides to resolve the conflict through dialogue and negotiations, it said.

Japan and the European Union have a message for President Trump: Free trade is alive and well.

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