Cerame-Unie together with 27 business organisations signed a Joint-Statement reiterating their strong support for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and Japan.
Signatories underlined once again its commitment to support ambitious and inclusive FTAs. The Joint-Statement has been shared with the European Commission and the International Trade (INTA) committee of the European Parliament (EP) calling for a swift ratification process. The agreement was signed on 17 July 2018. INTA vote is expected on November 5, while the EP plenary vote to give the Parliament consent will take place on December 10.
The EU-Japan EPA will be the largest bilateral trade agreement in terms of market size, covering almost 30% of global GDP. The agreement is particularly important given the current context of international trade. On tariffs reduction, Japan and the EU are expected to liberalise, respectively, 97% and 99% of their tariff lines. Other provisions comprehensively cover: service, investments, public procurement, intellectual property, trade and sustainable development, obligations related to the Paris Agreement, Small and Medium Enterprises, corporate governance and regulatory cooperation.
As it involves two highly developed economies with advanced regulatory systems and standards, EU-Japan EPA can help to promote economic and non-economic cooperation both at a bilateral and multilateral level. Moreover, given the similar level of economic development and standards, it is expected that both countries can benefit from the deal without noticeable losses in production or employment.
Ceramic products will benefit since day one from zero tariffs, boosting EU ceramic industry’s exports to Japan. In 2017, EU exported nearly €170m to Japan in ceramic products, with the top three exporting sectors being ceramic tiles (€52m), tableware&kitchenware (€39m) and technical ceramics (€37m). The EU also enjoys a positive trade balance in terms of quantities. The EU ceramic industry was able to increase its exports in volume since 2009 by 71%.