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European Parliament backs progressive trade agreement with Japan


Trade & Society
The European Parliament today voted in favour of a comprehensive trade agreement with Japan. It is the largest bilateral trade deal ever concluded by the EU in terms of market size, covering almost one third of world GDP.
S&D Group MEP and author of the report Pedro Silva Pereira said:
“With the US president attacking multilateral cooperation and threatening to start trade wars, the approval of this agreement could not have come at a more important time. It shows that the EU remains committed to a fair and rules-based international order, where we play an important role in setting high standards in international trade. This is a good agreement for citizens, workers, farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises. European products and services will gain important new opportunities in the Japanese market.
“This is the most progressive trade agreement the EU has ever signed with any country. It commits both parties to meeting high levels of environmental and labour protection. It fully respects public services and the right to regulate. We have secured a commitment from the Japanese to pursue the ratification of the International Labour Organisation core conventions, as well as a review clause to improve the enforceability of labour and environmental provisions. The agreement also ensures the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change. We now ask both parties to deliver on their commitments and truly unlock the progressive potential of this agreement.”
S&D Group spokesperson for international trade Alessia Mosca added:
“Today the EU and Japan have sent a message to the world in defence of multilateralism and international cooperation. We have created a free trade bloc that will account for almost a third of world output. In turbulent times for international trade, this agreement will help both of our economies weather the storm. We have fought hard to ensure an agreement that benefits European workers and avoids the most controversial aspects of previous trade deals.
“Under this deal, tariffs will be removed for over 90 percent of trade items between Japan and Europe, meaning Japanese consumers will be able to benefit from high quality European manufactured products and foods.”


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