Japan and EU sign FTA

Japan and EU sign FTA

06/07/17

Paul Nicholson, Corporate Services Manager

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Union (EU) chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk have signed a milestone free trade agreement (FTA) at the G20 Summit in Hamburg today.

The agreement, which comes after months of negotiations between European and Japanese trade officials, was announced by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom after a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida yesterday, reports Reuters.

The deal will see the EU gradually reduce tariffs on Japanese cars, whilst Japan will gradually remove tariffs on most EU food imports, with the exception of some dairy products which will remain subject to quotas.  Japan will also make it easier for European companies to tender for public contracts. The transition to reduced tariffs could take as long as 15 years however, reports the BBC.

While the signing of the deal represents a breakthrough for the EU, there are still areas that require further negotiation, including how disputes under the FTA should be settled.