EU-JAPAN TRADE AGREEMENT ON TRACK TO ENTER INTO FORCE IN 2019


13/12/2018




Serhat TUNAR-TDO- The European Commission welcomes today's approval in the European Parliament of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement.

The trade agreement negotiated by the Commission is the first ever to include an explicit reference to the Paris climate agreement. It will create an open trading zone covering 635 million people and almost one third of the world's total GDP. The Strategic Partnership Agreement is the first ever bilateral framework agreement between the EU and Japan.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Almost five centuries after Europeans established the first trade ties with Japan; the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will bring our trade, political and strategic relationship to a whole new level."

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well as a number of long-standing regulatory barriers, for example on car exports. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural products and increase EU export opportunities in many other sectors. In addition, the agreement will strengthen cooperation between Europe and Japan in a range of areas, reaffirm their shared commitment to sustainable development, and include for the first time a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

Key parts of the Economic Partnership Agreement

The agreement will, in particular:

  • eliminate duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are taxed at nearly 30%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average);
  • allow the EU to substantially increase its beef exports, and open additional opportunities for export of pork products;
  • ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 Geographical Indications (GIs), high-quality European traditional food specialities, and the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU;
  • remove tariffs on industrial products in sectors where the EU is very competitive, such as cosmetics, chemicals, textiles and clothing;
  • commit Japan to international car standards, with the result that EU exports of cars to Japan is made significantly easier;
  • open services markets, in particular for financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport;
  • guarantee EU companies access to the large procurement markets of 54 large Japanese cities; remove obstacles to procurement in the economically important railway sector.

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