politics

UK announces first major post-Brexit trade deal -- with Japan

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By James PHEBY and Natsuko FUKUE

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Putting lipstick on a pig.

"Is the UK’s new trade deal with Japan really something to get excited about?

Is it a vindication of the economic merits of Brexit and a symbol of the clout of ‘global Britain’? The short answer is no, says Ben Chu"

"https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/brexit-uk-japan-trade-deal-eu-tariffs-b421903.html"

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Great news, looking forward to some affordable British cheese for once.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

Fantastic news for both countries!

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Not that it means much for the UK. It is a start... tik tok tik tok .. 3 months left

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Big Mistake, Japan should wait until England and the EU finalize their agreements. Japan can't afford an angry EU.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

In many respects a cut and paste Japan-EU EPA, however with some additional bells and whistles, highlighted in the article.

The digital sector improved mobility for skilled workers is a welcome bonus.

Could have been more dynamic, bolder, UK could have wavered all visa restrictions for students on working placement.

Allowed Car manufactures a bigger bite of the cheery. Let the dog see the rabbit so to speak.

This EPA is two rungs up the ladder.

After some bedding in, could provide more valuable additions, financial services, JP access to UK government procurement, a standardization framework. Etc

Not to be sniffed at.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The UK gov is sooo inept.

Canzuk first Boris you useless Trump wannabee

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

At this point in time anything positive is a win.

Time for a sing song , how about rule britannia for starters

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Some good advice for Liz Truss for her post-Brexit trade deals . Muppet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y30uO2hGe5Y

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Great news. And still the remoaners continue their moaning!

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

They have basically replaced the current trade deal that exists between the two countries with a very similar trade deal.

The deal includes brand protection for "iconic" British goods, including English sparkling wine, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese and Welsh lamb.

I don't really get this. English sparkling wine is very good but produced in small numbers. I don't think Wensleydale is really to Japanese tastes - not even that popular in Britain and the Japanese don't really eat lamb. But more to the point "protection" from what exactly?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

But more to the point "protection" from what exactly?

Knock offs? You can buy "cheddar" cheese in Japan, but it be not from the deepest, darkest caves of the eponymously named Cheddar Gorge.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Another dodgy Tory "give away" to "take back control"? The proof will be in the (English) pudding, or cheese.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Basically, a desperate UK will accept any scraps. It will get the short end of the stick and Japan knows this.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Great news, looking forward to some affordable British cheese for once.

That will never happen, greedy Japanese importers will never pass the savings on to the people.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Truss hailed what she said was a "historic moment for the UK and Japan as our first major post-Brexit trade deal" and a "important step" towards joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It's a sensible, strategic course for the UK who is also connected with TPP participant states, many of which are also the Commonwealth members. The Asia-Pacific region is a fast growing.

Japan also values non-commercial cooperation with the UK.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think the Commonwealth Countries will be playing catch up in the coming months.

I understand Australia is close.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Another win for PM Abe!

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

As expected, a lot of negativity and animosity coming from remoaners who act like the dems after Trump won...

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

negotiations with the European Union become increasingly fractious.

It is easier to deal with one country (Japan) than with the many countries that makes up the EU.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Great news, looking forward to some affordable British cheese for once.

So did you notice much of an influx when Britain was part of the EU-Japan free trade agreement? Or newly affordable European cheese?

This report doesn't mention much about affordability of cheese, it mentions brand protection, which would prevent Japan from producing cheeses under certain names such as Wensleydale etc. That's unlikely to do much for you one way or the other.

@Ah_so

But more to the point "protection" from what exactly?

I think it comes down to dilution of quality that can affect the reputation of a product overall. Sometimes that reputation has been maintained for centuries, and domestic laws have kept quality high. Protection names and origins have strict requirements about ingredients and methods of production. Not everyone agrees on whether this is desirable: some European countries like Italy, France and Spain are very strong on protection; other countries, like the US, would prefer a free for all. Individual consumers also don't agree on which approach is best.

Ultimately, no one is going to mistake the candle shavings sold as Kraft Parmesan for Parmiggiano Reggiano from Italy, but quality erosion tends to be more insidious than that.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

While I wanted the UK to stay in the EU, I wouldn't mind if the UK did better outside it either so this is good news.

Not the end of it, but a sign that the gov isn't as useless as Boris makes it seem

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The trade agreement between the EU and Japan resulted in real tariff reductions for Japan in the EU and all we got here was talk. Cheese prices have all gone up and supermarkets and shops prefer to throw away up to 30 % of product rather than make the cheese affordable and sell more.

Wine prices have gone up except for undrinkable grape juice ( hopefully) mixed with alcohol.

this is windowdressing from a desperate British Government. On the Japan side they will just rename the old or invent new fees.

oh for a month or so we will see some fake “ sales” labels and after that it will cost more then before.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

As expected, a lot of negativity and animosity coming from remoaners who act like the dems after Trump won...

I can understand why some might wish to remain part of the EU; I can not understand why some of those people wish Britain to fail.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

if you look at it itll be more affordable to manufacture Japanese cars in Japan and not the UK now, FTA with both UK and EU means Japan can export its cars to the EU tariff free, while its highly unlikely that the EU will give the UK similar duty free status. This could be an end to UK car manufacturing in the UK , since most of the cars it manufactures goes to the EU

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Many more lucrative trade deals await the Brits after they shake of the shackles of the EU. All in good time.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

This is just a roll over of the EU-Japan deal. The UK government is claiming the deal will increase trade with Japan by an estimated 15.2 billion pounds (Department of International Trade press release), but that is not compared to the UK when it was in the EU (the sensible benchmark). It is compared to UK-Japan trade in a hypothetical no-deal situation, which presumably would mean WTO rules. The UK is actually talking about trading with other people on WTO terms, even the EU themselves, so just imagine what the cost of that would be.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Is this going to come at the cost of a hard border in Ireland?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

This is more about cheese going one way and cars going the other. It’s a tail about two further awakenings. Yakitori and cider.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CHEESE!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Manufacturing parts coming from Japan will benefit from reduced tariffs, as will British pork, beef and salmon travelling in the opposite direction.

I think the UK as well as Australia had better focus on domestic manufacturing. I think a country cannot maintain a high standard of living by selling cheese.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I hope that there is a positive out come for both our countries, but what made me chuckle was the mention of trains from the UK, really? Japan has the Shinkansen, what does the UK have to offer? we can't get our out dated pile of junk passed 125MPH haha who ever thought that we would supply Japan with train needs to quit there day job and get a job as a comedian hahaha!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another big economy (soon to be) into the TPP. Another slap on the US government!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Brian WhewayToday  03:29 pm JST

I hope that there is a positive out come for both our countries, but what made me chuckle was the mention of trains from the UK, really?

Are you talking about this?

"While maintaining the high levels of access to the British market under the Japan-EU EPA, we improved our access to the British market on train cars and some auto parts."

If so then I suggest that you read it again, slowly this time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think it comes down to dilution of quality that can affect the reputation of a product overall. Sometimes that reputation has been maintained for centuries, and domestic laws have kept quality high

wipeout- I absolutely get why you have protection for certain brand names and regional labels - Champagne is a good example. However, I can't imagine that the Japanese are waiting to relabel Spanish Cava as English sparkling wine or New Zealand lamb as Welsh lamb. And even if they did, the impact would be tiny. The market for these products is negligible - it is a pyrrhic victory.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fantastic news. The UK is a free nation and will agree mutually beneficial free trade deals with the rest of the world. Remember, the EU accounts for only 25% of world trade. Who would want to fight for a small slice of 25% when there is a larger slice of 75% to aim for.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan has the Shinkansen, what does the UK have to offer? 

A lot of trains are built in the UK, many by that great British company Hitachi Rail. They'd better protect that name unless some Japanese company tries to steel it.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/18698579.hitachi-rail-celebrates-five-years-train-building-county-durham/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Great news, looking forward to some affordable British cheese for once.

Forget the cheese. Bring on affordable Marmite!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is the real Oi Oi Fish and Chip for Britain but for Japan, it's Scampi rather than Sushi.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Access to fudge would be a definite plus!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As the article says, this is basically just to replace the existing deal that UK benefits from as if it was still an EU member until the end of this year. So the X billions it is worth is really what the UK would otherwise lose from next January. It may have a couple of miniscule bells and whistles of benefit to the UK, like crumbs of cheese, but as the article says, Japan has been able to make the most of the UK gov's desperation to win itself more beneficial terms in this deal (trains). Actually, it cannot give the UK better terms than the current EU - Japan deal, unless Japan has already decided to concede exactly the same terms to the EU, as part of its already signed and active trade deal with the EU.

The UK minister can go and crow from the rooftops to make it sound like she’s won big, when everyone knows she’s at best holding on to what the UK still has for the next 3 months.

It’s better than nothing. I am sure Japan is playing wait and see with any future developments, to find out if Japanese companies based in the UK will have any access to the EU market before they decide whether to run down or pull out operations, and their government’s policy will support them in that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan has the Shinkansen, what does the UK have to offer? we can't get our out dated pile of junk passed 125MPH haha who ever thought that we would supply Japan with train needs to quit there day job and get a job as a comedian hahaha!

1) The Shinkansen is its own purpose built line so it should be fast. 125MPH/200KPH is nothing to be sniffed at, especially when these speeds are achieved on bog standard Victorian rails. Hankyu/JR/Kintetsu do not even come close to these speeds - in fact, there are parts of Japan that are reached more quickly by bus.

2) Great Britain is a small island so does not need uber-fast trains. Even 160KMH trains would be fast enough - and more “eco”.

3) Eurostar trains run to St. Pancras and they are equivalent to the Shinkansen.

4) The British invented the steam locomotive, not the Japanese, so without British creativity to exploit, they would have nothing to export!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Visa free travel would have been great! I would have been straight on a plane lol! Anyhoo, Japanese products are a tad pricey here in old Londinium so here's hoping we get some Sapporo Gold, Sapporo Black, Ebisu beers (discovered them just before I left, nice and they do a cracking stout) and Kirin Green Label which was ok as it goes. The only mainstream Japanese beer here is Asahi 620ml so bring on the beers and the liver transplants!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

agreed in principle

I trust MoFA is cognisant of the current shenanigans over the "specific and limited way" in which UK govt. proposes to break international law that Boris himself negotiated and boasted of.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mickelicious, that is the china shop looking for an elephant, or vice versa

The EPA suits all parties...Not prefect but reasonable under the circumstances.

It is worth remembering there are some 2.5 million plus EU citizens resident in the UK whose status could be in limbo, if UK Government jettisons the entire withdrawal agreement/treaty.

J investment UK ..... Sorry you will have to your plow way..

https://www.jetro.go.jp/uk/Import_from_Japan.html

UK government needs a break.

Both the UK and EU need to step back.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good news, onwards and upwards! Beneficial to both, now for agreements with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, especially Asia and the Pacific rim which is growing unlike the EU which is in economic decline in major part due to centralist over regulation (very like the USSR in the past) and the imposition of the Euro for political rather than economic reasons.

The EU are still trying to impose their laws and institutions on us even after we leave, which is unacceptable for any sovereign country, indeed I can imagine the frothing and furore from Brussels if we tried to impose our laws on them in a like manner. Unlike Japan the EU have never negotiated honestly or with a view to mutual long term benefit, which is why one deal went through so easily and the other may never happen.

I would have thought Wensleydale would have been very much to the Japanese taste? It’s a mild cheese which naturally complements apple pie. Now it is down to the British food industry to introduce and market their produce so that Japanese consumers are aware and get a chance to try the produce.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mickelicious, not a criticism.

This whole process of negotiation, has run it course, sobriety restraint, polite formality has dissipated in an enraged red mist at the determent of all EU citizens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wipeout- I absolutely get why you have protection for certain brand names and regional labels - Champagne is a good example. However, I can't imagine that the Japanese are waiting to relabel Spanish Cava as English sparkling wine or New Zealand lamb as Welsh lamb. And even if they did, the impact would be tiny. The market for these products is negligible - it is a pyrrhic victory.

I'm guessing here, but whether the individual market is tiny (Welsh lamb exports to Japan for example), the overall export market for it may be a lot larger, so I would assume they'd want to get the same protections for it in every market where they finalize a trade deal. That at least doesn't seem illogical.

I also assume that it's not simply about the Japanese themselves labelling cava as English sparkling wine, but about knockoff products from third countries being sold in Japan, in addition to anything that Japan produces itself. An example would be "cheddar cheese", which is not protected, and as far as I know is never going to be, so can be produced in very large quantities by countries with a huge dairy industry - like Australia or New Zealand - and sold everywhere in the world.

Where that leaves English sparkling wine I don't know. That market is still developing, as there are parts of southern England that have soil and climate that are almost ideal for producing something equivalent to champagne (obviously they can't legally call it that). Taittinger is the first champagne house to plant vines in England, which they started a couple of years ago and recently expanded. Actual wine production is still several years away. But if that does become a much larger market in future, it could be worth protecting, though it has to be said, "English sparkling wine" sounds pretty generic; more so than, say, prosecco or cava.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There were lots of people who are against Brexit constantly posting negative opinions such as "Well, even if the UK does manage to get a trade deal agreed, it won't be anywhere near as good as what the EU has arranged with Japan".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"English sparkling wine" sounds pretty generic; more so than, say, prosecco or cava.

It definitely deserves a better identifier. The méthode C fizz that I had in East Sussex about a dozen years ago was very commendable indeed, and the microclimate conducive to it is shifting ever northwards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, it's basically just the EU-deal taken over but let's see how Japan will handle the UK if they continue to break international binding agreements as they just did with the EU. On the other hand, Japan already has a lot of experience in this area considering how South Korea treats international agreements with Japan, therefore I think, the UK is safe, not much gonna happen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There were lots of people who are against Brexit constantly posting negative opinions such as "Well, even if the UK does manage to get a trade deal agreed, it won't be anywhere near as good as what the EU has arranged with Japan".

A reasonable assumption. The UK was negotiating from a position of weakness - the need to get a trade deal, any trade deal, finalized to show some post-EU success - against a country known to be quite adept at getting its way, or if you prefer, burying the devil in the detail. That certainly put Britain at risk of getting a worse deal: it may be an idea to wait and see what this one actually says.

As I've patiently pointed out in the past, and will continue to do, Britain has two problems. One: It has to to knock together a number of deals to replace those it benefited from as a member of the EU, or it loses what it had. That's a lot of work just to stand still.

Two: the existing EU deals contain "most-favoured nation clauses" that prevent third countries from being offered better terms than those in the EU deal. As part of the original EU-Japan trade deal, Britain was a beneficiary of this clause in its trade with Japan. But as a former member seeking to make its own trade deal with Japan, Britain is at a disadvantage: not only can it not receive better terms for anything agreed between the EU and Japan; it cannot offer them to Japan as part of its negotiation for concessions from the Japan side. And, what is potentially worse, when it makes a deal with the EU in the future, it is unable to offer or be offered better terms between the UK and Europe than exist between Japan and Europe.

Were you aware of this? Ultimately Britain at best will replace some of the trade deals it had under the EU with near-equivalent deals. It is equally likely to end up with worse deals out of haste to move forward and deliver results. Other countries will smell that weakness and do whatever they can to exploit it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A reasonable assumption. The UK was negotiating from a position of weakness - the need to get a trade deal, any trade deal....

A wall of text which falls flat within its first sentence.

The UK didn't need to get "any trade deal" as it demonstrated twice during these negotiations by stating that the deal needed to be reworked before it could be acceptable.

Britain was not a benenficiary of the EU-Japan deal either. The UK voted to leave before that deal was concluded and the negotiations reflected that.

Were you aware of this? Ultimately Britain at best will replace some of the trade deals it had under the EU with near-equivalent deals. It is equally likely to end up with worse deals out of haste to move forward and deliver results. Other countries will smell that weakness and do whatever they can to exploit it.

As more and more trade deals are concluded, you'll be saying the same thing again ("This time, it really will be awful for the UK!"). Much of what you post tends to be laborious in reading, tedious and wrong. Please bore off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And still the remoaners continue their moaning!

You sound like a brainwashed brexiter. The whole Brexit campaign was built on lies ( remember the red bus and the disinformation?) . It has deeply divided the country and has caused a rise in nationalism and xenophobia . With Brexit deadline looming and the Covid pandemic, I am afraid Britain is NOT faring too well. Huge public debt and rising unemployment and poverty. Britain exporting cheese and Marmite!! Japan knows very well that the EU is a much bigger market and there are more advantages in getting a good trade deal with it rather than with Britain. I suppose Britain is still waiting for a trade deal with USA? Trump's policy is 'America first'.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Britain was not a benenficiary of the EU-Japan deal either. The UK voted to leave before that deal was concluded and the negotiations reflected that.

To say Britain was not a beneficiary makes no sense at all. The EU-Japan trade deal came into effect on 1 February 2019. Trade between Britain and Japan was covered under that deal, and continues to be through to the end of the transition period at the end of this year. That is nearly 2 years as a beneficiary. You can't just dismiss 2 years worth of trade under those new terms as "no benefit". And as the UK-Japan deal is reported as "largely a rollover of one the UK enjoyed as a member of the EU", does that mean you're saying the new deal is not beneficial? Or are you simply stripping out all the parts that echo the EU deal and saying they're entirely worthless?

Also, Britain has benefited and continues to benefit from other EU trade deals. That continues to the end of the transition period. After that ends, it will be out of those deals and in need of new ones to replace what it had. Those deals won't happen immediately, where they happen at all, and there is no guarantee that they will equal what the EU has under its existing deal. Britain is, however, trying for more rollover deals, including one with Canada and another with South Korea, so how can you argue that the deals originally negotiated by the EU were of no benefit? If they weren't, why is Britain now trying to get them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ETHAN1001Sep. 12  03:58 pm JST

Fantastic news. The UK is a free nation and will agree mutually beneficial free trade deals with the rest of the world. Remember, the EU accounts for only 25% of world trade. Who would want to fight for a small slice of 25% when there is a larger slice of 75% to aim for. The UK is free from these oppressive dictators. Did you know that the Nazi party started as a social democrat party? Very much like the Democrats in the US now!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this going to be like the “free” deal with Australia? That deal where Japan got free access to the Australian market while Australian beef got its tariffs lowered to 18% over a dozen years?

I am sure Japan has a lot to celebrate about with this deal, but I doubt the UK does. Even if tariffs are lowered on the UK’s goods, don’t count on retailers in Japan to lower shelf prices. They’ll just pocket the difference like they did when the yen grew to 76 to the dollar and 100 to the euro, and the retail prices of American and European goods were the same as when the rates were 40% lower.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The UK is free from these oppressive dictators. 

Well, sort of. Apparently it turns out Japan is imposing even stricter state aid rules than the UK-EU withdrawal agreement. And Bojo has threatened to break international law because he has changed his mind about the conditions on a level playing field written into the withdrawal agreement. Then along comes Japan, requires stricter conditions, and Bojo says 'how far would you like me to bend?'

Course, Japan better watch out as Dominic Cummings might tell Bojo to renege on what he just agreed 6 months down the line, and bleat that what is being agreed now is unfair and unreasonable. But probably not - beggars can't be choosers.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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