Asia > Eastern Asia > Japan > Japan–EU negotiations racing against protectionism

Japan: Japan–EU negotiations racing against protectionism

2017/07/10

The Japan–EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations appear to be coming down to the wire. Both sides are aiming to reach a framework agreement prior to the G20 summit on 7 July. Agriculture, as usual, is one of the sticking points, particularly for items such as cheese.

The domestic political setting in Japan shows some of the usual signs of tension. The Japanese government is seeking to advance the country’s wider trade goals by reducing tariffs and other import barriers in overseas markets. On the other hand, Japan’s farm lobby — led by the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Group (JA Group) and their allied politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — is seeking to maintain specific barriers to imports of farm products given Japan’s small-scale and inefficient agricultural sector.

The Japan–EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations appear to be coming down to the wire. Both sides are aiming to reach a framework agreement prior to the G20 summit on 7 July. Agriculture, as usual, is one of the sticking points, particularly for items such as cheese.

The domestic political setting in Japan shows some of the usual signs of tension. The Japanese government is seeking to advance the country’s wider trade goals by reducing tariffs and other import barriers in overseas markets. On the other hand, Japan’s farm lobby — led by the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Group (JA Group) and their allied politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — is seeking to maintain specific barriers to imports of farm products given Japan’s small-scale and inefficient agricultural sector.

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