European Union signs biggest ever trade deal and attacks Donald Trump

EU and Japan sign trade deal covering a third of the world's economy

Japan, EU signs trade pact that will eliminate nearly all tariffs on traded goods

"Within this context, I believe it is extremely meaningful that Japan and the European Union are sending a message to the world about the importance of free and fair trade".

Overall, European farmers will benefit, Juncker said, though European consumers will be able to more easily buy luscious Kobe beef and famous Yubari melons.

European exporters to Japan will see the vast majority of €1bn of duties they pay annually removed.

"While protectionism is spreading in the world, Japan and the European Union will take the lead as flag bearers for free trade", Abe said.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who travelled to Japan for the ceremonial signing of the deal, have both healed the deal, which covers a third of the global economy and more than 600 million people.

We are sending a clear message that we stand against protectionism.

The pact - which both Japan and the European Union aim to have come into force by early next year - will abolish or reduce tariffs on industrial products and agricultural items between the two sides and sets rules on investment, which is expected to help enhance opportunities for further two-way trade and investment.

Based on his "America First" policy, Trump has shown an increasingly protectionist stance on the trade front by taking such measures as threatening to impose further tariffs on not just steel and aluminium but also automobiles.

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Once in effect, . the deal will eliminate almost all of the tariffs levied on Japanese goods within the European market, . which means South Korean goods will no longer have the same price competitiveness within the market.

While the two USA allies reached a deal of their own to open up trade, the Trump administration has repeatedly doubled down on its decision to hit the EU, Mexico, Canada and China with steep tariffs.

The agreement stands in sharp contrast to trade developments in the US, where the Trump administration has pushed forward with an array of tariffs on several nations.

Following a number of years of preparations, and with the negotiations finalised in December 2017, the agreements were officially signed at the 25th EU-Japan summit held in Tokyo earlier today (Tuesday, July 17).

Trump also pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the start of his presidency, another trade deal that lowered tariffs and trade barriers for the 11 remaining signatories. The European bloc is also pursuing deals with Mexico, Australia, and Mercosur, the South American trading bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Experts have said the United Kingdom will fail to secure improved terms on the EU-Japan deal, and could even end up worse off. Japanese will get cheaper wine, pork and cheese, such as Parmesan, Gouda and cheddar, as well as chocolate and biscuits. Japan's growth continues to be heavily dependent on exports.

Japanese vehicle and auto parts makers are also expected to increase their sales to Europe, where they have lagged behind European rivals.

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