BREAKING NEWS: Announcement of EU-Japan Trade Deal Expected Tomorrow - Global Trade Magazine
  July 5th, 2017 | Written by

BREAKING NEWS: Announcement of EU-Japan Trade Deal Expected Tomorrow

Sharelines

  • The president of the European Council tweeted preview of EU-Japan trade deal.
  • EU-Japan summit comes on eve of G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, and Trump's arrival there.
  • NYT: Agreement will eliminate a 10-percent EU duty on Japanese car imports.

The president of the European Council may be taking a page out of the playbook of United States President Donald Trump when it comes to using social media for policy pronouncements.

Donald Tusk, the former president of Poland and currently head of the board that overseas European Union governance, announced on Twitter on Monday that a summit meeting would be held between the EU and Japan and that an “ambitious free and fair trade deal in the making.” The summit comes on the eve of the beginning of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, where President Trump is scheduled to arrive on Friday.

The EU later followed up with a statement saying that EU leaders and the Japanese prime minister “are expected to announce a political agreement on the EU-Japan free trade agreement…” That means that an agreement in princicple has been reached and that details have yet to be worked out.

According to The New York Times, the agreement will eliminate a 10-percent duty the EU imposes on Japanese car imports.

The EU-Japan deal has been negotiated on and off for years, mostly off during the time Japan concentrated on cementing a Trans-Pacific Partnership with the US and 10 other Pacific countries. The EU-Japan negotiations gained new momentum after Trump withdrew the US from TPP.

A few days before Tusk’s tweet, EU agricultural negotiators were dispatched to Tokyo to finalize an understanding for trade in that sector.

President Trump inexplicably tweeted this morning that “The United States made some of the worst Trade Deals in world history. Why should we continue these deals with countries that do not help us?”

Could the tweet be related to the impending EU-Japanese deal, which widely viewed as an effort to isolate Trump for his isolationist policies right before his arrival at the G20?

Or perhaps it’s related to the tweet that was published soon thereafter. “Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter,” the president tweeted. “So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!”

The president appears to be complaining that China didn’t do enough to help the US with North Korea. But it’s hard to understand the connection with a trade deal. After all the US and China don’t have a bilateral trade deal.