This is the biggest deal ever reached between the two parties, sending a signal against US protectionism. Under the deal, tariffs are lifted on 99 per cent of Japanese goods and 94 per cent of European goods (rice excluded).
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The new Japan-EU free trade deal, which sends a strong signal against US protectionism, is the “biggest” agreement of its kind between Japan and European Union.
EU Council President Donald Tusk and Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker in Japan late Monday to sign the agreement.
The signing in Tokyo for the deal, largely reached late last year, is ceremonial.
European consumers will have access to cheaper Japanese machinery parts, tea and fish. Japanese consumers will pay less for cheese such as prmesan, guda and cheddar – as well as chocolate and biscuits.
“This agreement will create an open trade zone covering nearly a third of the world’s GDP,” said Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.
The EU – the world’s biggest single market with 28 countries and 500 million people – is trying to boost alliances in the face of Trump’s protectionist administration.
The deal eliminates about 99 per cent of the tariffs on Japanese goods to the EU but remaining at around 94 per cent for European imports into Japan for now and rising to 99 per cent over the years.
The difference is due to exceptions such as rice, a product that’s culturally and politically sensitive and has been protected for decades in Japan.
The EU is optimistic that the deal will bring great results, considering that Japanese consumers have historically coveted European products.
Trade liberalisation will lead to the region’s export growth in chemicals, clothing, cosmetics and beer to Japan, leading to job security for Europe.