Japan, European Union to sign widespread trade deal eliminating tariffs

Japan gets cheaper cheese as it signs EU’s ‘biggest’ trade deal

"Japan and the European Union remain united in our commitment to making the Iran nuclear deal work", Tusk said, referencing the 2015 agreement, from which Washington withdrew in May.

"We are predictable - both Japan and [the] European Union - predictable and responsible and will come to the defense of a world order based on rules, freedom and transparency and common sense".

At a EU-Japan summit Tuesday in Tokyo, the envoys were clear that the agreement was meant to send a message about the value of trade and cooperation.

The Yomiuri Shimbun Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker signed the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement on Tuesday in Tokyo following their summit meeting in the Japanese capital.

It will cover a third of the global economy and 600 million people, after it is ratified by the European Parliament.

The signing had been due to take place in Brussels on July 11, but Abe was forced to cancel his trip after torrential rains triggered flooding and landslides in Japan that killed about 220 people.

The EU will also eliminate about 99 per cent of its tariffs on Japanese goods, including crucially removing levies on Japanese cars from the eighth year after the deal is implemented, and scrapping tariffs on auto parts immediately.

For Irish consumers it could, eventually, bring down the price of Japanese cars but tariffs of 10pc will be phased-out only gradually over eight years, something demanded by European vehicle makers.


The deal, which is the largest-ever negotiated by the European Union, will unite about 600 million people across both markets.

The Trump administration is hitting back at what it considers unjustified retaliatory tariffs that were imposed in response to U.S. steel and aluminum duties.

The Japan-EU trade deal is also a sign of shifting global ties as Trump distances the United States from long-time allies like the EU, NATO and Canada.

Japan's ambassador for worldwide economic affairs, Yoichi Suzuki, said earlier this year that if an EU-Japan deal were in force in the United Kingdom during the Brexit transition phase, it would buy Japan more time to establish a separate trade deal with Britain.

The U.S.is proposing 10 percent tariffs on a $200 billion list of Chinese goods. The European bloc is also pursuing deals with Mexico, Australia, and Mercosur, the South American trading bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Experts have said the United Kingdom will fail to secure improved terms on the EU-Japan deal, and could even end up worse off.

Current duties of 29.8pc on hard cheeses such as gouda and cheddar (which Ireland is seeking new markets for as a result of Brexit) will be eliminated, and a duty-free quota will be established for fresh cheeses such as mozzarella. The White House has imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imports and has threatened to target European cars next. Japan's growth continues to be heavily dependent on exports.

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