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Japan | Brussels, 11 July 2017

Speech: Commissioner Malmström hails ’strategic alliance’ with Japan

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today presented to European and Japan business leaders last week’s agreement in principle on a free trade agreement with Japan, the EU’s sixth largest trading partner.

Speaking at the EU-Japan Business Summit in Brussels, the Commissioner noted the agreement would remove tariffs on 99% of EU exports to Japan; improve access to Japanese service and procurement markets; and protect high quality EU food and drink products, such as Tyroler Speck or Polska Vodka, on Japanese markets

Noting examples of small EU companies who had benefited from the EU's previous trade deal with South Korea, the Commissioner drew attention to provisions with Japan on small and medium sized companies, as well as the removal of non-tariff barriers like unnecessary red tape. In line with the Commission's goal for trade based on values, the agreement also includes binding and enforceable provisions on labour standards, and protecting the environment, and preserves both parties' right to regulate in areas such as food and product safety.

The Commissioner also highlighted the importance of the agreement given the risk of rising protectionism. "There is no protection in protectionism; for every country that wants to build walls, there are those who want to build bridges ", she said.

Read the Commissioner's speech

More information on the trade agreement between the EU and Japan

More information on the EU-Japan Business Round Table