Japan and European Union Continue Free Trade Talks

Japan and the European Union wrapped up their fourth round of free trade negotiations Friday in Brussels, where they discussed tariff-related issues and nontariff measures in the Japanese railway sector.

During the five-day talks — a key session before the European Union’s review in April of whether Tokyo has made progress in eliminating trade barriers — abolition of EU tariffs on Japanese automobiles was also a main topic of discussion.

The review, a year after the negotiations began, will be conducted to decide whether to continue the free trade talks based on how much effort Japan has made to eliminate nontariff barriers, especially in the railway sector.

The two sides agreed earlier to exchange proposals on scrapping or lowering tariffs at an early date. A senior Japanese government official has said that they were striving to exchange offers by April.

Japan, which wants to expand its auto exports to the European Union, plans to propose scrapping tariffs on EU wine in stages so it can draw a concession from the 28-country bloc in the automobile sector.

Japan is the European Union’s second-biggest trading partner in Asia after China. Together, Japan and the European Union account for more than one third of the global gross domestic product.

The two sides will hold their next round of free trade talks in a week starting March 31 in Tokyo.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza