European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan has welcomed the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan as a "great new opportunity for our exporting agri-food producers".
As far as agriculture is concerned, the agreement:
- scraps duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are at 29.8%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average)
- will allow the EU to increase its beef exports to Japan substantially, while on pork there will be duty-free trade in processed meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh meat
- ensures the protection in Japan of more than 200 high-quality European agricultural products, so called Geographical Indications
Commissioner Hogan said:
"This agreement is the most significant and far reaching deal ever concluded by the EU in agri-food trade and will provide our farmers and agri-food businesses with access to a very large, mature and sophisticated market.
Following many years of engagement, we were able to deliver a win – win deal resulting in a stronger and deeper relationship with our Japanese partners. Japan has never before been as ambitious in coming to an agreement with any trade partner.
As European standards in food quality and safety are the highest in the world we were able to achieve full protection for our high-value EU geographical indication (GI) products as well as full or improved market access for numerous key sectors.
European negotiators were successful in developing a free trade agreement that fits our agri-food export profile very well. This reinforces the EU's position as a global leader and standard-setter in shaping international trade and its rules – a concrete example of the EU 'harnessing globalisation'.
This deal highlights the importance of size in global trade negotiations. A strong, unified European Union, representing 500 million citizens, can deliver clear benefits for both exporters and citizens. I will continue to pursue similar agreements with other global partners for the benefit of our exporting farmers and agri-food businesses. Good food means good business."
6 July 2017