Japan and EU trade deal is a sign that both entities oppose protectionism and Trump’s America First
Chika Mori and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The signed economic agreement between Japan and the European Union (EU) will account for roughly 37 percent of all international trade in terms of value. Equally important for Japan, it highlights that unlike the policy of America Frist by President Donald Trump, then political elites in Tokyo are focused on free trade. Therefore, the signed agreement between Japan and the EU does have economic and political repercussions outside the agreement between both powerful entities.
Indeed, the political repercussions in Japan are that political elites in Tokyo are no longer to be compliant toward America and the economic objectives of Trump. Hence, with tensions increasing between America and the EU over economic and geopolitical issues, the signed agreement between Japan and the EU bodes well for forces that support free trade.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission, and Donald Tusk who is the current President of the European Council signed the Japan-EU economic partnership. This show of solidarity comes at a time of heightened economic and geopolitical tensions based on Trump and his America First policy.
Juncker stipulated, “[The] impact of today’s agreement goes far beyond our shores. Together we are a making, by signing this agreement, a statement about the future of free and fair trade.”
The President of the European Commission, continued “We are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together. And we are leading by example, showing that trade is about more than tariffs and barriers. It is about values, principles and finding win-win solutions for all those concerned.”
Toshimitsu Motegi, the Minister for Economic Revitalization in Japan, uttered, “At a time when protectionist measures are gaining steam globally, the signing of the Japan-EU deal today will show the world once again our unwavering political will to promote free trade.”
Tusk, taking a swipe at Trump, stipulated, “Let me say that today is a good day not only for all the Japanese and Europeans but for all reasonable people of this world who believe in mutual respect and cooperation …We are putting in place the largest bilateral trade deal ever. This is an act of enormous strategic importance for the rules-based international order, at a time when some are questioning this order.”
Abe said, the agreement “shows the world the unshaken political will of Japan and the EU to lead the world as the champions of free trade at a time when protectionism has spread”.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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