A focus on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan was signed on 17 July 2018. At a time of trade tensions, this agreement sends an important signal in support of open, mutually beneficial global trade founded on demanding standards.

This agreement opens up major economic prospects, creating a zone of almost 600 million people representing close to 30% of global GDP.

This agreement will be particularly beneficial for French farmers and exporters: Japan is France’s sixth-largest trading partner outside the European Union. Some 8,000 French companies already export there, many of them first-time exporters, selling goods worth more than €6 billion. The Japanese market offers considerable potential for French products, given its size and the high standards of its consumers.

The benefits of the agreement

  • This agreement will ensure better access to the Japanese market, and thus new export opportunities for European and French producers, particularly those selling beef, pork, cheese, processed products, wines and spirits;
  • The provisions on geographical indications of this agreement will protect many French products, including Champagne and Roquefort cheese.
  • The agreement will also bring about greater reciprocity in access to public procurement, opening up new opportunities for many European businesses, especially in the rail field.

An agreement based on high social and environmental standards

  • This agreement includes the key European principles of the right to regulate and high environmental protection and labour standards.
  • It also includes commitments to respect multilateral agreements and ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.
  • The agreement clearly promotes climate action and incorporates measures to combat climate change. It commits both countries to implement the Paris Agreement.

Next steps

The agreement has been approved by the Council, which represents the Member States, and was signed on 17 July. It will also have to be approved by the European Parliament and the Japanese parliament before taking effect.

For additional information, please consult the website of the European Commission.