• Sunday, Apr 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:43 pm

EU, Japan to sign massive trade deal as US puts up barriers

  • Published at 02:00 pm July 17th, 2018
abe-tusk-1531814074786.jpg
File Photo: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with European Council President Donald Tusk at the end of a EU-JAPAN summit in Brussels, Belgium July 6, 2017 Reuters

The ‘landmark’ EU-Japan deal creates a massive economic zone and stands in stark contrast to Trump's protectionism

The European Union's top officials arrive in Japan on Tuesday to sign the single market's biggest trade deal ever and present a united front as Washington upends the international trade order.

EU and Japanese officials say the deal demonstrates their commitment to lowering trade barriers even as US President Donald Trump pushes his protectionist "America First" policy.

Trump has unsettled America's allies and provoked the ire of its rivals with bombastic statements, hefty trade tariffs, and threats of a trade war.

EU Council President Donald Tusk and Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker land in Japan on Tuesday after talks in Beijing, where they urged calm instead of "conflict" in international trade.

"It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russia, not to destroy (the global trade order) but to improve it, not to start trade wars which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history," Tusk said Monday in Beijing.

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

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

Agreed last December, the deal is "the biggest ever negotiated by the European Union," according to Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

"This agreement will create an open trade zone covering nearly a third of the world's GDP," he said.

The EU – the world's biggest single market with 28 countries and 500 million people – is trying to boost alliances in the face of Trump's protectionist administration.

The EU-Japan deal will send a "strong signal to the world" against US protectionism, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said recently.

"At a time when protectionist measures are gaining steam globally, the signing of the Japan-EU deal today will show the world once again our unwavering political will to promote free trade," Japan's minister for economic revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi said on Tuesday.

Trump's administration has angered traditional allies like the EU and Japan by imposing trade tariffs, while rattling international markets by threatening a trade war with China.

On Sunday, the US president fuelled rising rancour by labelling the EU, along with Russia and China, "a foe" of the United States, and repeating his assertion that the EU has "really taken advantage of us on trade".

EU officials and Japan will also look to present a united front against US tariffs on steel and aluminium, which Tokyo has called "deplorable".

Junichi Sugawara, a senior research officer at Mizuho Research Institute, said Trump's protectionism had "prompted Japan and the EU to speed up negotiations on the deal".

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "has good relations with Trump, but in terms of trade, Japan has sided with the EU," he said.

"Japan and the EU will form a united front against a US threat to impose tariffs on key products such as cars."

Under the trade agreement, the EU will open its market to Japan's auto industry, with Tokyo in return scrapping barriers to EU farming products, especially dairy.

The EU is seeking access to one of the world's richest markets, while Japan hopes to jump-start an economy that has struggled to find solid growth.

Talks last year closed the gap on most remaining issues between the two sides, but a dispute resolution mechanism remains to be negotiated.

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.

52
Facebook 52
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail