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As US questions free trade, EU and Japan usher in new deal

/ 07:19 PM February 01, 2019
As US questions free trade, EU and Japan usher in new deal

Bottles of wine imported from Europe are lined up at a retail store in Chiba, near Tokyo on Feb. 1, 2019. AP

BRUSSELS — The European Union and Japan have ushered in a landmark trade deal they say will boost business between the two economic powers and sends the message that international pacts still have a purpose in an age of increasing protectionism.

The agreement that comes into effect Friday will scrap nearly all tariffs on products both sides trade in. It will have a big impact on Japanese exports of cars to Europe and EU exports of agricultural products like cheese to Japan.

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EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Europe and Japan are sending a message to the world about the future of open and fair trade.”

The EU and Japan account for almost a third of the world’s economy and the deal is on average expected to benefit their 635 million citizens. /ee

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TAGS: EU, free trade, International news, Japan, US
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