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American Shipper

EU concludes trade deal negotiations with Japan

The European Union and Japan finalized discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement last week, with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström affirming the two sides remain fully on course to sign the deal next year.

   The European Union and Japan concluded the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement last week.
   The EU and Japan remain fully on course to sign the agreement next year, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said.
   The European Commission said the deal will open up huge market opportunities for both sides, strengthen cooperation between Europe and Japan in various areas, reaffirm their shared commitment to sustainable development, and include, for the first time, a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
   The agreement “will create a huge economic zone with 600 million people and approximately 30 percent of the world GDP,” according to a joint statement issued by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
   The European Commission said the agreement will remove the vast majority of the 1 billion euros (U.S. $1.2 billion) of duty paid each year by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well as various long-standing regulatory barriers. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agriculture exports, as well as boost EU export opportunities in a number of other sectors.
   Looking ahead, the EU and Japan will now begin the legal verification of the text, also known as “legal scrubbing,” the European Commission said.
   Once complete, the English text of the agreement will be translated into the other 23 official languages of the EU, as well as into Japanese.
   The European Commission will then submit the agreement for approval by the European Parliament and EU member states, aiming for its entry into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019.
   “At the same time, negotiations continue on investment protection standards and investment protection dispute resolution,” the European Commission said. “The firm commitment on both sides is to reach convergence in the investment protection negotiations as soon as possible, in light of their shared commitment to a stable and secure investment environment in Europe and Japan.

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