The European Union and Japanese officials both say they’re close to signing what would be a major free trade deal, which could potentially jump-start other free trade deals. A European Union negotiator says a deal between the two would let the rest of the world know that two of the largest economies are resisting protectionism in favor of openness and investment. The website U.S. News Dot Com says the E.U. and Japan make up more than a quarter of the world’s economy. They traded more than $140 billion worth of goods last year and a new agreement would boost that number considerably higher. The head of the Japan Foreign Exchange Research Department at JP Morgan says a deal between the E.U. and Japan would make it much harder for American agriculture to compete in those markets. Europe would be able to export agricultural products like cheese and pork with lower tariffs in Japan, which would make it much harder for America to compete in the Japanese marketplace. The U.S. has shown an interest in a free trade deal with Japan, even conducting negotiations in April, but that idea has recently been overshadowed by the upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.