While the United States remains engaged in a trade disruptive environment, the European Union and Japan have signed a free trade agreement. The agreement, signed Tuesday, is hoped to counteract the protectionist trade environment fueled by the U.S. and President Donald Trump, according to Reuters. The agreement creates one of the world’s largest open economic areas. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “I want Japan and the EU to lead the world by bearing the flag of free trade.”
The deal removes EU tariffs of ten percent on Japanese cars and will also scrap Japanese duties of some 30 percent or more on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines, along with allowing for more EU dairy products to enter Japan. The move comes as the U.S. is in the middle of a trade war with China, and ongoing trade disputes with others, that started with steel and aluminum tariffs implemented by the Trump Administration.