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Answer – EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement – E-007359/2016

by November 22, 2016 General

The position of Japan regarding the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations has not changed after the UK referendum. As for the Commission’s position, the UK remains a member of the EU and takes part in the EU trade policy as any other EU Member State until the process of withdrawal from the EU according to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union has been triggered and completed. Brexit does not have any impact either on the EU or the Japanese commitment to conclude the FTA negotiations by the end of 2016.

The EU-Japan FTA negotiations cover a wide range of sectors and issues. The FTA chapters are constructed more on a thematic than a sectoral basis. For example, the chapter on intellectual property rights may have implications for the digital industry but also for the robotics industry. In that sense, all the above mentioned industries have played a role in the FTA negotiations by expressing their position and sectoral interests.

While Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is a plurilateral trade agreement, EU-Japan, EU-Korea and EU-Singapore FTAs are bilateral agreements. The connecting factors between the aforementioned EU FTAs consist in the nature of those agreements — all of them are so called ‘new generation’ trade agreements. The ‘new generation’ EU FTAs are ambitious and comprehensive, covering not only trade in goods and services but also areas such as public procurement, competition, investment, intellectual property, transparency of regulation and sustainable development. The EU-Korea FTA was the first ‘new generation’ agreement and, thus, set the model for the next ones — Singapore and Japan.