EU aims for Japan trade deal ahead of G20

EU aims for Japan trade deal ahead of G20

12/05/17

Paul Nicholson, Corporate Services Manager

A free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Japan could be agreed by July when leaders meet at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, reports the Japan Times.

EU and Japanese chief negotiators will meet later this month, with an aim to hold the 19th round of negotiations in June, according to reports in Politico.

The talks, which began in March 2013, have stalled over market access for EU agricultural exports including dairy and meat, while Japan has asked for lower tariffs on cars and consumer electronics.

The EU has also proposed an investment court system for disputes with the FTA, to replace the existing investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism, which Japan is reluctant to sign up to.

A Japan FTA deal would be a great success for Brussels where the EU has only completed one other deal in Asia – with South Korea. All other FTA negotiations in Asia are still yet to be formally concluded or ratified.

An EU-Japan FTA would provide a blueprint for any subsequent deal for the UK and Japan post Brexit, where the UK Department for International Trade is aiming to create UK equivalents to EU trade agreements.