New EU-Japan trade deal 'could reshape European auto market'

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionChina's economic slowdown explained

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionChina's economic slowdown explained

A free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union entered in force on February 1, covering 635 million people and nearly one-third of the world's economy.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: 'Europe and Japan are sending a message to the world about the future of open and fair trade. "It scraps tariffs and contributes to the global rulebook whilst. demonstrating to the world that we both remain convinced by the benefits of open trade". The European Union and Japan have inaugurated a landmark deal they say will boost trade between the two economic powers and sends the message that worldwide agreements still have a goal in an age of increasing protectionism.

Under the Japan-EU EPA, Japan will ultimately scrap tariffs on about 94 percent of its imports from the EU, and the EU will eliminate tariffs on about 99 percent of its imports from Japan. The agreement also removes a number of long-standing non-tariff barriers, for example by endorsing global standards on cars.

Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, welcomed the agreement, saying it's significant especially amid concerns of growing protectionism in trade.

"If both the EU and Japan are granted 0% tariffs on United Kingdom imports, we may see greater price competition between European and Japanese brands, which would ultimately benefit consumers". In addition, the agreement will strengthen cooperation between Europe and Japan in a range of areas, reaffirm their shared commitment to sustainable development, and include for the first time a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

The agreement also secures the opening of services markets, in particular financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport.

BP joins Shell in making plans to combat climate change
Investors and environmentalists welcomed BP's announcement, while stressing they will continue to monitor its climate performance. BP has pledged to add emissions reductions as a factor in the reward of 36,000 of its employees, including executive directors.

Japan is the EU's second-largest trade partner in Asia after China.

The EU and Japan have also agreed to bind themselves to a high environmental standard.

Daly said: "The EU-Japan trade deal is set to be a significant help for Japanese vehicle sales in the UK - European manufacturers will be concerned that their market share could be impacted by reduced prices on Japanese imports". The Agreement will enter into force once it has been ratified by all EU Member States. When combined with the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the economic impact is estimated at around 13 trillion yen.

Furthermore, Japan and the European Union consider the level of protection given to personal information by Tokyo and Brussels to be the same, so they allow both sides to take personal information across borders.

European Union and Japan are continuing investment protection negotiations and hope to reach an understanding as soon as possible.

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