International Agreements in Progress: EU-Japan free trade agreement within reach

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Series Details July 2017
Publication Date July 2017
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Negotiations on an EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA) were officially launched in March 2013. Following 18 rounds of negotiations and a number of meetings at the technical and political levels, a political agreement in principle was reached during the 24th EU-Japan Summit in Brussels, on 6 July 2017.

Negotiations on the outstanding issues that were left on the table will continue, with the aim of finalising the text of the agreement by the end of 2017.

The deal with Japan, the EU's second largest trading partner in Asia, will enhance trade and investment relationships between the two parties. European companies, in the agri-food sector for instance, will benefit from improved access to the Japanese market, mainly through the reduction both of tariffs on specific goods as well as existing regulatory and non-tariff barriers.

The 2016 trade sustainability impact assessment for the EU-Japan FTA indicated that the EU-Japan FTA and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, involving the EU and the USA, would result in similar levels of economic gains for Europe. According to recent Commission estimates, European companies will save up to €1 billion in customs duties per year as a result of the EU-Japan FTA. Moreover, the value of EU goods and services exports could rise by up to €20 billion.

This briefing is an update of an earlier version of October 2016.

Author: Krisztina Binder

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ESO: Background information: EU-Japan FTA would boost growth more than TTIP
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EurActiv, 05.01.17: Tokyo targets EU trade deal by end of 2017
EurActiv, 09.06.17: EU-Japan trade deal learns nothing from ‘TTIP mistakes’

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