Tánaiste welcomes new trade deal with Japan

Tánaiste welcomes new trade deal with Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to pose for a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on February 11.

Abe and Tusk will be able to hold the deal up as evidence against any claims that major free trade deals are something of the past.

The agreement was concluded by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Thursday, a day before G20 leaders meet in Germany.

The agreement, which will lead to the establishment of the EU's largest bilateral trade deal to date, will cover a market of 638 million people, about 28 percent of the global economy.

European Union negotiators said the deal scraps duties on many cheeses, such as Gouda and Cheddar (which now are at 29.8%), and will also allow the bloc to increase its beef exports substantially.

Significant financial benefits are expected for both sides.

President Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, an order establishing a federal hiring freeze and a third order reinstating the "Mexico City policy", on January 23 at the White House.

Ms. Malmstrom responded this week by saying organizations like Greenpeace would be opposed to "any trade agreement", ostensibly a criticism of the group's stance against trade liberalization.

A deal would require finessing Japan's protections for its dairy farmers, whose home market is protected by tariffs of up to 40 percent on processed cheese.

"The EU believes in political goal of world built on openness, cooperation and trade", said Tusk, a former Polish prime minister. This ultimately increases the cost to businesses and is also the same for Japanese businesses operating in Europe.

Four years ago, when the talks began, it was "neither side's main priority", the Economist writes.

"Europeans want the EU to continue to set rules globally through open and fair trade that delivers a level playing field while protecting our standards".

The leaders said in a statement that the European Union and Japan "demonstrate to the world - and to our citizens" that free trade remains vital to boost living standards.

The agreement, once in force, will eliminate customs tariffs worth €1 billion for European exporters, Juncker said.

According to the official, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association has been calling on Brussels to negotiate a transition period with Japan for the removal of import duties on cars.

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