Parliament endorses landmark EU-Japan free trade agreement

Malmstrom 2019

Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, participates in the European Trade Policy Day 2018, titled this year ‘In defence of open and fair trade – Rising to the challenges, tackling the threats’. © European Union , 2018 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU’s trade agreement with Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the EU.

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan, approved with 474 votes to 152 with 40 abstentions on Wednesday, will remove almost all custom duties adding up to €1 billion annually for EU companies. It represents a clear stance in support of rules-based, free and fair trade “at a time of serious protectionist challenges” .

Agriculture, SMEs win

While the most sensitive EU sectors such as rice production are safeguarded, wine, cheese, beef, pork, pasta, chocolate and biscuits will enter duty-free either immediately or after a transition period, 205 products with European geographical indications will be protected, to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which make up 78 percent of exporters to Japan. Parliament urges the Commission to set up contact points for them, so that they can quickly benefit from the agreement.

Railways, services

Japan opens up its rail procurement market and public procurement in its main cities to European competition. E-commerce, international maritime transport and postal services will also be liberalised.

Labour codes

The Parliament welcomed the high level of environmental and labour protection, the commitment to the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, and encourages both parties to combat illegal logging. MEPs nevertheless stressed that Japan must ratify all relevant labour codes set by the International Labour Organisation.

Parliament also approved today the Strategic Partnership Agreement with 535 votes for, 84 against and 45 abstentions, which extends cooperation to areas such as energy, education, research and development, development, and the fight against climate change and terrorism.

Quote

“Today’s approval is a key milestone for fair trade based on rules and values, amid rising protectionism. The agreement will help promote high standards and strengthen sustainable development in trade policy. The European Parliament is sending a very progressive message and will continue to do its part, so that the biggest EU bilateral trade agreement truly works for both citizens and businesses,” said Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D, PT), the rapporteur in charge of the trade agreement.

“The European Parliament’s answers to the challenges of globalisation are cooperation and global standard setting. We firmly reject inward-looking protectionism and nationalist tendencies – they will not solve the pressing problems we are facing, but only drive us further apart. It will be crucial to swiftly implement the accord and involve civil society at every step to ensure that the agreement benefit workers and citizens,” said Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), the chair of the trade committee.

Next steps

Japan has already ratified the agreement. After the endorsement of the trade deal by the European Parliament, Council is set to give its final go-ahead on 21 December which allows the agreement to enter into force on 1 February 2019. For the strategic partnership agreement to enter into force, all member states have to ratify it.

Background

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, signed on 17 July 2018, creates a trade zone of 600 million people, and covers a third of global GDP and about 40 percent of global trade.

Negotiations on a separate investment protection agreement with Japan are ongoing.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

As ride-hailing firms drive into the future, who is being left behind?

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Entrepreneur India Convention 2016: Bringing together Entrepreneurs, Investors, Startups and SMEs

Recovering from COVID-19: these are the risks to anticipate now – before it’s too late

Empty stadiums and online streaming: how coronavirus is affecting the media industry

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

Prisoner executions in Belarus ‘simply unacceptable’, says UN rights body

Indexation of family benefits, child tax credit and family tax credits: Commission takes Austria to Court for discrimination

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution needs more arts graduates

Questions and answers: Commission proposes SURE, a new temporary instrument worth up to €100 billion to help protect jobs and people in work

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Artificial Intelligence: guidelines for military and non-military use

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

This is how we can save millions of people from extreme poverty after COVID-19

Listen to the future – how 26 youth-led organizations are supercharging the UN’s Global Goals

State of the Energy Union: Progress made on the clean energy transition and a basis for green recovery

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

‘We all must step up’ collective action on disability inclusion – UN deputy chief

Environmental Implementation Review: Commission helps Member States to better apply EU environment rules to protect citizens and enhance their quality of life

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

Does the “climate change” require ombudsman services for environment?

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

China Unlimited and the Chinese dream

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

Make this the year of ‘transformative solutions’ to avert disastrous climate change: UN Deputy Chief

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

How AI is shaping financial services

From Grexit to Brexit: UK industry now says the in/out referendum is good for your health

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

The cost of housing is tearing our society apart

‘Champion for multilateralism’ readies to hand over UN General Assembly gavel

Climate change is a security threat. We must act now

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis

Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

Almost all businesses expect to face a crisis. And how they deal with them really counts

UN chief commends Algerians for ‘mature and calm’ demonstrations for change, leading up to presidential resignation

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

India: step up reform efforts to increase quality jobs and incomes

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

UK must end ‘unlawful’ administration of Chagos Archipelago ‘as rapidly as possible,’ top UN court rules

Latin America and Caribbean region deadliest for journalists in 2019

FROM THE FIELD: Enduring freezing winter in a war zone

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s