6 Jul 17

EU and Japan close to major trade deal

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker today presented a trade agreement in Brussels that will have important repercussions on the economies of both parties. When approved, it will see the removal of tariffs from 99 percent of goods traded between the Old Continent and Japan.

“Although some are saying that the time of isolationism and disintegration is coming again, we are demonstrating that this is not the case,” said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, undoubtedly referring to the U S.A. “The world really doesn’t need to go a hundred years back in time. Quite the opposite.”

For Europe, one of the main goals of the talks with Japan has been the prospect of creating new opportunities for its farmers, who have been facing tough times since the Russian trade embargo. For Japan, the FTA will bring an end to its carmakers’ disadvantaged position on the European market – every Japanese car is currently subjected to import duties amounting to 10 percent.

If this 10 percent is removed immediately, European OEMs will indeed face a significantly toughened competition. That is why ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, has asked the EU to negotiate a transition period of at least seven years.

Picture copyright: European Commission, 2017

Authored by: Dieter Quartier