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(From L) Jean-Claude Juncker, Shinzo Abe and Donald Tusk after signing the agreement.
(From L) Jean-Claude Juncker, Shinzo Abe and Donald Tusk after signing the agreement.

EU, Japan Agree on Free Trade

EU, Japan Agree on Free Trade

The European Union and Japan have reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of an Economic Partnership Agreement, which will see complete elimination of tariffs on textiles and clothing. For the EU and its member states, the agreement will remove the vast majority of duties paid by EU companies, which sum up to €1 billion annually.
The deal, which includes a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement, will be the most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU. It will open the Japanese market to key EU agricultural exports and increase opportunities in a range of sectors, the European Commission said in a statement, RKS reported.
It sets the highest standards of labor, safety, environmental and consumer protection, fully safeguards public services and has a dedicated chapter on sustainable development. It also builds on and reinforces the high standards for the protection of personal data that both, the EU and Japan, have recently entrenched in their data protection laws.
Once the agreement comes into force, tariffs on textiles and clothing will be “fully abolished”. “It will increase EU exports and create new opportunities for European companies, big and small, their employees and consumers. The value of exports from the EU could increase by as much as €20 billion, meaning more possibilities and jobs in many EU sectors such as agriculture and food products, leather, clothing and shoes, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and others,” the statement said.
The announcement on the conclusion of the agreement in principle was made during the EU-Japan Summit by the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk, and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

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