If the deal goes through, it will be the largest of its kind for the European Union. The significance of such an agreement is especially big considering the protectionist approach the United States has been taken when it comes to trade. It could also prove to be what the global economy needs at the moment. A joint statement by the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker emphasized this point with a comment: “[the deal] sends a clear signal to the world that the EU and Japan are committed to keeping the world economy working on the basis of free, open and fair markets with clear and transparent rules fully respecting and enhancing our values, fighting the temptation of protectionism”.
“The Economic Partnership Agreement” will eliminate the majority of tariffs that will free up over 1 billion euros annually. It will cover about 600 million people and will encompass almost a third of the global GDP. According to the International Monetary Fund, Japan is the third largest economy, behind only US and China and has a nominal GDP of $4.8 trillion. The European Union as a whole has a nominal GDP of over $17 trillion, with Germany accounting for its largest chunk. The trade between the countries is significant as well. Its total volume is over 86 billion euros. Japan is the seventh biggest export market for EU. Some of the most popular products exported by EU to Japan are dairy goods, while the biggest share of imports from the country belongs to cars.