politics

EU, Japan seal free trade deal in signal to Trump

15 Comments
By Alastair Macdonald and Robert-Jan Bartunek

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15 Comments
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We are now entering a "Post-American" era. Trump is making the U.S. irrelevant.

America first, means America alone. This administration is going to set the US back decades.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Maybe the shelve in local won't be bulging under the weight of European quality cheeses, cold meat, or clinking with fine wine just yet. But the accord, I'm being led to believe, accord is the correct terminology politically for the agreement, declaration is a means to and end. That is to scold President Trump policy of protectionism and isolation.

Also for the Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Tusk to trumpet their Global Europe policy in the face of GB Prime Minster Theresa May. Not particularly subtle or objective, however these points have to be made.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

NHK was reporting it as as a done deal, except for one sentence stating its an agreement to continue negotiations. Nothing is going to change in the near future. PR sunt for Shinzo, message for Trump. JA still smiling.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nothing is going to change in the near future. PR sunt for Shinzo, message for Trump. JA still smiling.

Shinzo Abe as protector of free trade? You're avin a larf, mate. For the LDP free trade means we're free to sell our stuff anywhere we like at any price we like and keep your stuff out.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

NHK was reporting it as as a done deal, except for one sentence stating its an agreement to continue negotiations. Nothing is going to change in the near future. PR sunt for Shinzo, message for Trump. JA still smiling.

That's what I was thinking.  This is more posturing and sending out messages that Globalization is still going rather than anything concrete. We'll just have to wait and see.

Shinzo Abe as protector of free trade? You're avin a larf, mate. For the LDP free trade means we're free to sell our stuff anywhere we like at any price we like and keep your stuff out.

Alfie, Nicely said. On the mark as usual.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Oh wonderful! Like we all need more chocolate, biscuits and cheese on supermarket shelves!!!!! It's like the comment "Let them eat cake" which helped fuel a revolution. Where is the cheap quality meat that the Europeans all enjoy?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In an ironic nod to Brexit supporters' rallying cry of"Global Britain", Tusk, a former Polish premier, signed off a tweet confirming the Japan deal with the words "Global Europe!"

The Chinese will take note! And the USA...and the UK and its Commonwelath countries. The cry of 'The let them eat sushie' not quite so fresh as the fish need to be...and we take our fishing rights back. And instead of buying Japanese cars (which will go up in price) we will buy Chinese or Amrican or make more of our own and undercut Japanese ones....and their chocolates made from rice! Is this what they call 'negotiating?'. But wasn't Junker complaining about an empty chamber the other day...evidenced by footage showing it to be....well, empty. And the Abe government on the slide after the worst vote ever for the LDP in the Tokyo elections outsmarted by a female politician. Four years a-coming but not signed yet? Abe full of ideas except none of them work out...I suspect this will yet be another one. Yet another example of Abenomics.

A true account of something I was told years ago comes to mind. A product being made for a Japanese buyer. Everything was questioned and changed from the original...even the color. It was a plastic product. Come the presentation and the Japanese buyer still hovered. Frustrated the seller asked what now was wrong..."We have done everrything you requested". The Japanese buyer replied "Ah....but I don't like the smell!'. I am not sure why that came to mind right now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Quotas on soft cheeses like feta and mozzarella will still protect Japan's culturally sensitive dairy sector.

What the heck is a "culturally sensitive dairy sector"? Maybe they meant "bloated" or "uncompetitive"? Which means that we won't be seeing the quality, cheap cheeses of Europe in Japan any time soon?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As per yesterday, this is not a done deal but just agreement to talk.  Still far from any kind of deal and, given the nature of each side's trade, likely to be full of exceptions and loopholes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So the deal is: We agree to talk later because we can't agree to the most important points.

To Japan free trade = We will sell what we want and all we want in your market but we limit what and how much you sell in Japan.

Japan wants to sell all the autos they wish in Europe but refuse to budge on dairy and meat products. And I thought the Japanese we lactose intolerant and really do not like dairy products. After all that is what Blinkyhara and Taro Assho have been saying all this time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Quotas on soft cheeses like feta and mozzarella will still protect Japan's culturally sensitive dairy sector.

Thank god! I wouldn't want Japanese supermarkets to stop being able to charge 400 yen for a tiny bag of Mozzarella!

And god forbid these trade deals put a dent in Japan's ultra-competitive Feta cheese market!!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

We now have New Zealand pizza cheese with prices at 1 to 1 ( 500Yen for 500 grams )  Basically, cheese is not cheap- even in France.  But I want a good selection of cheese, and if you are looking at an international cheese counter AND prices are comparable to local brands, cheese lovers ( few and far between) will surely choose the French and Dutch and Italian products.  The only real cheese I see is Hokkaido camembert (100g) at 400Yen...and then a thin slice of Brie for 800.  A very, very thin slice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I basically wouldn't BUY cheese because it's ridiculously high priced. No WONDER I lost so much weight while living in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Show off to let show go on.

I would not say that choice is too limited for European products in Japan, rather some type of censorship about what is best as quality price products. Abe-san needs to keep his voters happy for a few more years.

Japanese time is slow and even slower in an increasingly global world where one consumer now knows within finger efforts what is available on Earth through Internet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So no talk on butter I guess? Should I expect the usual shortage every holiday season?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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