This EU free trade agreement will eliminate almost all tariffs
European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the “Economic Partnership Agreement” (EPA) in the Japanese capital Tokyo on the afternoon of the 17th.
Japan’s Kyodo News quoted Japanese officials as saying that this is the largest free trade agreement to date in terms of the economic scale of the participants. The combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the European Union and Japan accounts for approximately 30% of the global economy.
According to this agreement, the EU will cancel 99% of tariffs on imported goods from Japan; Japan will cancel 94% of tariffs on EU imported goods, including 82% of agricultural and aquatic products; in the next few years, 99% of EU imports will be gradually eliminated Goods tariffs.
Multiple international media reported that after the agreement takes effect, the prices of wine, pork, cheese, chocolate, biscuits and other products imported by Japan from the EU will drop, and the prices of Japan’s machinery parts, tea, and fish exported to the EU will also drop. The EU is expected to increase its exports of chemical products, clothing, daily necessities, and beer, and at the same time open its market to the Japanese automobile industry; in exchange, Japan will remove trade barriers to the EU in the field of agricultural products.
Most of these reports mentioned that the Japan-EU “Economic Partnership Agreement” is designed to respond to the U.S. government’s trade protectionist policies.
The “Economic Partnership Agreement” must be approved by the Japanese Diet and the European Parliament, which is the EU’s legislative body. The latter approval process can take several months. Some EU officials said that the EU hopes that the agreement will take effect in early 2019, before the UK officially withdraws from the EU on March 29 of the same year. (Title: Japan and EU sign free trade agreement to eliminate almost all tariffs)
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