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The United Kingdom and Japan Conclude A Free Trade Agreement

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The United Kingdom and Japan have concluded a free trade agreement in Tokyo. It is the first deal the British make with a significant power after they depart from the European Union.

 

The British Secretary of Trade for International Trade, Liz Truss, said at the ceremony in Tokyo that some had expected “that the independent United Kingdom would not be able to conclude separate trade deals or that it would take years”. Truss pointed out that sceptics have now been proven wrong.

The British-Japanese treaty will take effect from January 2021 and should maintain trade and investment flows between the two countries. The treaty is very similar to the existing treaty between Japan and the EU.

Customs tariffs on Japanese cars, for example, are slowly being phased out until 2026, just as in the agreement with the EU. Japanese tariffs on British agricultural products also remain the same as in the EU treaty.

Japan still sees the United Kingdom as a gateway to the European market and hopes that the country can even agree with the EU.

This must be done before 1 January, because then the British will leave the European customs union and the internal market, meaning that the European trade agreements no longer apply. The difficult negotiations between the EU and the British have resumed.

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