Japan, EU sign EPA trade pact

How to negotiate a trade deal

The European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal on Tuesday that will eliminate almost all tariffs on products they trade.

Trump pulled the USA out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Japan and 10 other states on his first day in office in January 2017 and has pushed to renegotiate a free trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

That is the unfortunate fate of the trade deal the European Union and Japan signed on Tuesday.

The EU has signed its biggest ever free trade deal with Japan - hailing it as a "clear message against protectionism" in a swipe at US President Donald Trump.

Japan and the European Union signed a new free trade deal on Tuesday
Japan and the European Union signed a new free trade deal on Tuesday

Paul James Cardwell, a professor from Strathclyde University, said: "The U.K.is a large economy but based on services, and countries are generally reticent to include them in free trade agreements". "We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism". The ceremonial signing was delayed from earlier this month because Abe canceled going to Brussels over a disaster in southwestern Japan, caused by extremely heavy rainfall. More than 200 people died from flooding and landslides. Now signed, the pact requires legislative approval. The deal will bring down the prices for European wine, pork and cheeses for Japanese consumers, while made-in-Japan machinery parts, tea and fish will become cheaper for Europeans.

Japanese auto and vehicle parts makers are also expected to increase their sales to Europe, where they have lagged behind European rivals.

The deal signed in Tokyo is the largest ever negotiated by the European Union and creates a massive free trade zone, eliminating tariffs for everything from Japanese cars to French cheese. "About 94 percent of the tariffs on European exports to Japan will be lifted, rising to 99 percent in the future".

The difference is due to exceptions such as rice, a product which is culturally and politically sensitive and has been protected for decades in Japan.

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Overall, European farmers will benefit, Juncker said, though European consumers will be able to more easily buy luscious Kobe beef and famous Yubari melons.

The American says he is taking a hard line on trade to protect U.S. workers and USA companies, but critics say his approach is upending the rules of multilateral global trade.

Europe's food sector is one of the biggest winners from the deal, which should allow it to capitalise on Japanese demand for high-quality cheese, chocolates, meats and pasta. The White House has imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imports and has threatened to target European cars next.

The major step toward liberalising trade has been discussed in talks since 2013, but the timing of the signing is striking as China and the United States are embroiled in trade conflicts.

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It would also scrap Japanese duties of some 30 per cent or more on European Union cheese and 15 per cent on wines, and secure access to large public tenders in Japan.

Mr Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Japan and 10 other states on his first day in office in January 2017 and has pushed to renegotiate a free trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

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