Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

EU, Japan to sign massive trade deal as U.S. puts up barriers

EU, Japan to sign massive trade deal as U.S. puts up barriers

The "landmark" EU-Japan deal creates a massive economic zone and stands in stark contrast to US President Donald Trump's "America First" protectionism.

EU Council President Donald Tusk and Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker land in Japan after talks in Beijing, where they urged global trade cooperation and warned against trade wars.

A joint statement released with the Japanese government afterwards said: "Today marks a historic step as we celebrate the signing of a highly ambitious trade agreement between two of the world's largest economies".

The huge deal was signed as President Donald Trump unsettles allies and provokes rivals with his aggressive "America First" trade policy.

The EU officials and Japan will also look to present a united front against USA tariffs on steel and aluminium, which Tokyo has called "deplorable". He said the partnership is being strengthened in various other areas, including defence, climate change and human exchange, and is "sending a clear message" against protectionism.

The Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement will eliminate almost all tariffs between the bloc and the world's third biggest economy. The two parties also signed an agreement to allow data to flow between the European Union and Japan, creating "the world's largest area of safe data flows".

Japan's ambassador for global economic affairs, Yoichi Suzuki, has previously said it was 'a very high priority that [the deal] enter force before the end of March 2019, ' referring to the date when Britain is set to leave the EU.

Both sides are heralding the deal, which covers a third of the global economy and more than 600 million people.

Praise for Putin, pity for Trump
His scepticism drew a quick formal statement - nearly a rebuttal - from Mr Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats. Former Vice President Joe Biden said Trump's news conference with Putin was "beneath the dignity" of his office.

Alisson Becker 'set for Roma talks over future'
With little over three weeks left of the transfer window, Liverpool are still looking to bolster their options. Real are also sniffing around, although they may chose to take Chelsea's Belgian star rather than Alisson.

FDA recalls heart medications over cancer concerns
The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA's MedWatch program . It is also a byproduct from pesticide manufacturing, or during the making of rubber tires or fish processing.

Shinzo Abe had been scheduled to sign the deal in Brussels last week, but cancelled his trip after devastating floods that killed more than 220 people.

"There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos".

One of the biggest European Union exports to Japan is dairy goods, while cars are one of Japan's biggest exports. The difference reflects exceptions on such products as rice, which enjoys strong political protection from imports in Japan.

The major step toward liberalising trade has been discussed in talks since 2013, but the timing of the signing is striking as China and the United States are embroiled in trade conflicts. That follows an earlier move by Washington to impose 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese goods. The partnership includes Australia, Mexico, Vietnam and other nations, although the United States has withdrawn.

EU leaders said member countries will be able to buy Japanese beef and fruit more easily, and argued European exports of chemicals, clothing, cheeses and beer will increase, the AP reported.

Europe's food sector is one of the biggest winners from the deal, which should allow it to capitalize on Japanese demand for high-quality cheese, chocolates, meats and pasta.

Japanese consumers have historically coveted European products, and a drop in prices is likely to boost spending.

Coming just 24 hours after Trump backed the Russian president over his own intelligence services at a summit in the Finnish capital, Tusk pointedly highlighted the continued support of Japan and the European Union for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, whose Crimean peninsula was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

Like this: