Political agreement reached on an EU-Japan free trade deal

BEUC NEWS - 06.07.2017

Today, EU and Japanese leaders endorsed a political agreement on an EU-Japan free trade deal.

 

Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), commented:

“This is only a political agreement, not a final product. Many details remain open-ended and will only be decided in technical discussions over the next years. For the EU-Canada CETA trade deal, this process took 5 years to complete with major changes up to the very last minute.

“We are pleased to see no reference to the controversial investment protection system (ICS) and hope data flows will be kept outside of the agreement. For a definitive answer on whether consumers can support this deal, we however need to see the texts during the next phase. And this requires transparency not just from European negotiators, but from the Japanese side also.

“As they settle the details, we do think the European Commission can up the ante in terms of consumer benefit. Its website answers the question “How will European consumers benefit?” with “The agreement should see Japanese products in the shops become cheaper”. Is this really the extent of what an ambitious 21st century trade deal can fashion for consumers?”