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EU and Japan agree on strategic partnership

trade agreement

The European Parlement voted in favour of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement. Both will come into force in February 2019, as the Japanees parliament already agreed with the outcome of the negotiations.

The trade agreement negotiated by the Commission is the first ever to include an explicit reference to the Paris climate agreement. It will create an open trading zone covering 635 million people and almost one third of the world’stotal GDP. The Strategic Partnership Agreement is the first ever bilateral framework agreement between the EU and Japan.


The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove the majority of the €1billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well asa number of long-standing regulatory barriers. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural products and increase EU export opportunities in many othersectors.

The agreement will among others:

  • eliminate duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are taxed at nearly 30%);
  • allow the EU to substantially increase its beef exports, and open additional opportunities for export of pork products;
  • ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 Geographical Indications (GIs), high-quality European traditional food specialities, and the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU;
  • guarantee EU companies access to the large procurement markets of 54 large Japanese cities.

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