25.10.2012

The European Parliament agreed today on the opening of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with Japan under the condition that it will abolish non-tariff barriers and eliminate obstacles to public procurement for railways and urban transport.

"We were able to reach important compromises, which hopefully will lead to the actual opening of the Japanese market. Japan is the sixth trading partner of the European Union. The EU and Japan constitute together more than one-third of the world's GDP. Unfortunately the huge potential of trade relations between the EU and Japan is not fully used", said Jarosław Wałęsa MEP, EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur.

It is estimated that the Agreement, if successful, would allow for the creation of 420,000 new jobs in the EU and that the EU export to Japan would increase by more than 30 percent and the export of Japanese products to the EU by more than 20 percent. However, according to MEPs, it is important that the mutual opening of the European and Japanese markets will not affect any sectors of the European economy.

"The key to granting permission for the opening of negotiations was to reach compromises over the course of the negotiations, including the provision of a binding review clause activated within one year of the launch of negotiations and the commitment of the European Commission to conduct talks on the basis of clearly defined objectives and regular assessment of the negotiations", said Jarosław Wałęsa.

In its statement, the European Parliament requires that one year after the start of the negotiations, the EU (and the European Commission, leading the negotiations on its behalf) will assess if Japan is failing to comply with its commitments to the EU and is eliminating non-tariff barriers, particularly in the automotive sector, as well as the obstacles to public procurement for railways and urban transport. If, during the negotiations, the progress in the liberalisation of these sectors is insufficient, the Commission should, according to MEPs, suspend negotiations.

For further information:

Jarosław Leszek WAŁĘSA MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-175304

Agata Byczewska, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel. +32-473-841093

© Jarosław Wałęsa 2015. Wszelkie prawa zastrzeżone.
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