- Toru Hanai/Reuters
- The 15% tariff on EU wine exports to Japan, worth around €1 billion, is scrapped as of Friday.
- The deal comes amid fractious relations in global trade triggered by Donald Trump’s trade war against China.
- “It will protect great European products in Japan and vice-versa, such as the Austrian Tiroler Speck or Kobe Beef,” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Shoppers at Tokyo supermarkets are as of Friday able to scoop up French and Italian wines for steep discounts.
That’s because it’s the first day of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement – representing 635 million people, and one-third of global GDP – which opens European markets to Japanese car firms, and Japanese markets to European food exporters.
The “cars for cheese” deal, the largest ever bilateral trade pact, will “turbo-boost the trade we already do together,” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement. “The new agreement will give consumers greater choice and cheaper prices; it will protect great European products in Japan and vice-versa, such as the Austrian Tiroler Speck or Kobe Beef.”
The pact comes amid fractious relations in global trade triggered by Donald Trump’s trade war against China. The two sides are in talks to put a permanent pause on the dispute that has seen tariffs slapped on $360 billion worth of goods sent between those two nations.
The 15% tariff on EU wine exports to Japan are scrapped as of Friday, and the EU is also removing 30% duties on Gouda and Cheddar. Pork and beef duties are also being removed, as are those for EU products such as pasta, chocolate, biscuits, and tomato sauce.
EU firms, which export over €58 billion in goods to Japan every year, will save €1 billion in duties a year. Annual trade between the parties could increase by nearly €36 billion once the agreement is implemented in full, the EU said.
In what the Financial Times calls a prize secured by Tokyo, EU duties on vehicles and parts will be phased out over seven years.
Not are all enthused: “Now that the agreement is concluded, part of the economic leverage that could have been used to pressure Japan into stopping its allegedly scientific whaling campaigns is gone,” says the Euro Group for Animals.
Here’s a map of the anonymized company locations in towns and cities across the EU that export to Japan:
- European Commission