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Free Trade Agreements Move Forward

Three trade agreements, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) have all moved forward in negotiations and/or ratification in recent weeks.


On July 2, 2018, the Trade Ministers from the sixteen Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries reaffirmed their commitment to reaching an agreement by the end of 2018. Negotiations are in progress and agreements have been reached for two of the 18 sections. The Trade Ministers will meet in Singapore at the end of August during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers meeting. Participating countries are: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.


On July 6, 2018, Japan became the second country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). (Mexico ratified the treaty on April 26, 2018.) The agreement will enter into force 60 days after at least six of the eleven participating countries have ratified the agreement. After entry into force, countries that have ratified the agreement will benefit from reduced tariffs and trade barriers. The remaining participants are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.


On July 17, 2018, the European Commission announced that the European Union (EU) and Japan had signed the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) at the Japan-EU Summit in Tokyo. This new free trade agreement is the largest ever negotiated by the EU and will create an open trade zone covering more than 600 million people.

The agreement will benefit participants by removing over €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU businesses exporting to Japan. The agreement has also removed several long-standing non-tariff regulatory barriers on automobiles and agriculture.

For more information, please contact your local MIQ Logistics representative.