One of the most important bilateral trade agreements negotiated between the European Union and Japan came into effect on the 1st of February 2019. Brussels, who consider the trade agreement as a message to the rest of the world, stated that it demonstrated the value of open and fair trade and that it was more about values, principles and justice than merely earning millions and indeed billions of euros.
In his speech, the President of the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, refrained from mentioning President Trump’s America First belief and the United States as a whole, argued that the EU-Japan agreement would create ‘the largest free trade area in history.’ He went on to say that this was only possible when all ‘parties worked as natural partners, united in friendship and values, although separated geographically by thousands of miles’
The agreement with Japan represents new export opportunities for EU agri-foods such as wine, cheese, beef and pork, protecting some two hundred and five European geographical indicators including Madeira and Portugal.
The agreement was given the go-ahead last December. Portuguese MEP, with Pedro Silva Periera (PS), declaring that it was an excellent opportunity for the European economy, including the Portuguese economy. It also creates open, fairer and more regulated trade opportunities while sending a strong message against protectionism.