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Free Trade Zone EU - Japan for 600 Million

by Oui Fri Jul 6th, 2018 at 07:26:32 PM EST

Rebuffing US Trade policy under GOP Congress and a Republican president ...

Commission welcomes Council green light for EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

    Today EU Member States in the Council authorised the signature
    of the trade agreement between the EU and Japan.

As a result EU and Japan leaders will sign the agreement at the EU-Japan summit that will take place on 11 July in Brussels. After next week's signature, the European Parliament is expected to vote upon it in the autumn. Once procedures are finalised both at the EU level and in Japan, the agreement will enter into force in early 2019.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said:

    "I'm very pleased that EU member states have now given their formal backing. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is the biggest and most advanced bilateral agreement ever negotiated by the European Union. It creates a free trade zone covering 600 million people and a third of global GDP. Together with our Japanese partners we are sending a strong signal to the world that we still believe in open trade and that protectionism is never the answer. The economic benefits of this agreement are clear. It will eliminate the vast majority of duties paid by our firms and simplify customs procedures across the board. The deal will open huge market opportunities for both sides. European agriculture also has something to celebrate, with access to the enormous Japanese market and protection for over 200 distinctive food and drinks, like Champagne and Parma ham. I now call on the European Parliament to approve this agreement quickly so that European firms, citizens and farmers can reap the benefits of this deal as soon as possible."

More below the fold ...

EU governments approve free trade deal with Japan | Deutsche Welle |

EU governments on Friday threw their weight behind a free trade deal with Japan, paving the way for the agreement to be signed next week at a bilateral summit in Brussels.

The deal will be the biggest free trade accord ever signed by the European Union. The agreement will unite around 600 million people, representing about one-third of global trade.

EU officials said the accord would lead to the removal of all but a handful of tariffs between the two sides and aimed to boost economic growth and job creation.

Responding to earlier criticism from consumer protection groups, Brussels insisted the deal would not result in the deregulation and privatization of public services such as water management and waste water treatment.

Bucking the trend?

The deal, which comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is spearheading an "America first" agenda, "sends a very powerful signal against protectionism and for the rules-based international order," an EU official told the DPA news agency on condition of anonymity.

EU member states also approved the signature of a strategic partnership agreement with Japan to boost cooperation in a range of areas including security, defense against cybercrime, energy and climate change mitigation.

On the economics of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement | Bertelsmann Foundation |
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EU Takes Measures to Protect Business with Iran

Can't wait for Boris or one of his ilk to start claiming this is what the EU will give the UK.
by rifek on Sat Jul 7th, 2018 at 01:40:58 PM EST
In signing, Japan acquires some political consideration in case the US waiver goes sideways.
South Korea suspends Iranian oil loading in July for first time since 2012: sources
Japanese customers, however, are continuing to import for now, with multiple buyers considering buying Iranian oil through September loading, said a North Asia trading source familiar with Iranian oil shipping arrangements.
Japan, S.Korea seeking waivers from U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jul 7th, 2018 at 03:40:33 PM EST
While the Commission is quick to paint it as an EU triumph against Trumpism, the Japan-EU FTA (also known as JEFTA) has been in the works for years. And my suspicious mind immediately wonders what legislation-by-treaty they are trying to sneak by this time.

So I took a look at the full agreement (pdf) and it appears less bad then suspected. No investors courts as far as I can find, the only mention I can find is at page 205:

4.For greater certainty, the treatment referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 does not include investor-to-state dispute settlement procedures provided for in other international agreements.

Another thing to watch out for is criminalisation of open software, or intellectual property infringement  on a commercial scale, as it is usually formulated. Commercial scale instead of actual commerce means that they can use it to go after anyone who a large company claims infringes on their intellectual property, even if they don't charge for it or otherwise make money of it, as long as a lot of people use it. So is it time to throw Linus Thorvalds in jail?

Page 418:

In the case of an alleged infringement committed on a commercial scale, each Party shall ensure that if the applicant demonstrates circumstances likely to endanger the recovery of damages, its judicial authorities may order the precautionary seizure of the movable and immovable property of the alleged infringer, including the blocking of the alleged infringer's bank accounts and other assets.

Ok, just close his bank account then.

A third thing to look for is lengthening copyright terms. As everyone knows public domain ends in the 1930ies. Forever and ever.

Page 376:

The term of protection for rights of an author of a literary or artistic work within the meaning of Article 2 of the Berne Convention shall run for the life of the author and for 70 years after the author's death, irrespective of the date when the work is lawfully made available to the public.

Afaik, Japan today uses life+50 and EU uses life+70. Getting everybody up to minimum life+70 is but a step in setting up life+90. On one hand, this raises Japan to life+70, on the other it appears to bind the EU at life+70.

That for be it for now. I might come up with other things to search for, but so far it doesn't look horrid (apart from Thorvalds bank account). Which is a low threshold, but one that unfortunately has been necessary for free trade agreements.

by fjallstrom on Mon Jul 9th, 2018 at 11:21:56 AM EST
0-120 years, table data

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jul 9th, 2018 at 12:00:33 PM EST
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