On February 1st, 2019, a free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union came into force, covering almost one-third of the world’s economy, reports dw.com.
With the agreement, almost all tariffs on trade between the EU and Japan have been removed. It can save European companies billions of euros in duties each year. With the new deal, duties are no longer to be paid on almost all industrial and agricultural products. In total, Japan scraps duties on 97% of goods imported from the European Union while the European Union will eliminate tariffs on 99% of imports from Japan. The automotive sector sees duties eliminated by the EU over a seven-year transition period. For the first time, the Paris climate agreement has been included in the agreement. The deal also addresses sustainable developments and sets standards for labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection.
President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, states: “The new agreement will give consumers greater choice and cheaper prices; it will protect great European products in Japan and vice-versa, such as the Austrian Tiroler Speck or Kobe Beef; it will give small businesses on both sides the chance to branch out to a completely new market; it will save European companies a billion in duties every year and turbo-boost the trade we already do together.” Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman of the Japan Business Federation, said the agreement “will stimulate additional growth and create jobs for both sides.”