Wednesday 18 July 2018 - 11:04

EU-Japan Free Trade Deal Sends Message against US Protectionism

Story Code : 738569
EU-Japan Free Trade Deal Sends Message against US Protectionism
The deal signed in Tokyo by the EU's top officials and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is one of the world's biggest free trade deals that promises to eliminate 99 percent of tariffs that cost businesses in the EU and Japan nearly €1 billion ($1.17 billion) annually.

According to the European Commission, the EU-Japan "Economic Partnership Agreement" (EPA)  will create a trade zone covering 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the deal "shows the world the unshaken political will of Japan and the EU to lead the world as the champions of free trade at a time when protectionism has spread."

 Donald Tusk said also, said "We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism".

"Together we are making -- by signing this agreement -- a statement about free and fair trade, we are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together," added Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.

The huge deal was signed as President Donald Trump unsettles allies and provokes rivals with his aggressive "America First" trade policy.

Both the EU and Japan have been hit with new US tariffs despite their longstanding alliances with Washington.

Juncker said the deal sent a message that "trade is about more than tariffs and barriers, it is about values".

"There is no protection in protectionism," he said.