The conclusion of these negotiations is an important milestone to put in place the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union. The Economic Partnership Agreement will open huge market opportunities for both sides, strengthen cooperation between Europe and Japan in a range of areas, reaffirm their shared commitment to sustainable development, and include for the first time a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said: "This agreement represents the most significant and far reaching deal ever concluded by the EU in agri-food trade. It will provide huge growth opportunities for our agri-food exporters in a very large, mature and sophisticated market. We were successful in developing a model free trade agreement that fits our export profile, while still delivering a mutually beneficial agreement with our partner. This shows the EU as a global leader and standard-setter in shaping international trade and its rules – a concrete example of the EU harnessing globalisation to benefit our citizens. EU agri-food exports create high-quality jobs, most of them in rural areas."
The outstanding technical discussions that have taken place since July have included: stabilising the commitments of the EU and Japan on tariffs and services; settling on the final provisions for protection of EU and Japanese Geographical Indications; concluding the chapters on good regulatory practices and regulatory cooperation, and transparency; strengthening the commitment to the Paris agreement in the trade and sustainable development chapter; as well as clearing up a number of minor remaining issues in several parts of the agreement.
With regards to agricultural exports from the EU, the agreement will, in particular:
- scrap duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are at 29.8%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average);
- allow the EU to increase its beef exports to Japan substantially, while on pork there will be duty-free trade in processed meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh meat;
- ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 high-quality European agricultural products, so called Geographical Indications (GIs), and will also ensure the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU.
Friday December 8, 2017/ EC/ European Union.