Japan and EU strike free trade deal after four years of talks
Agreement sends anti-protectionist signal ahead of G20 summit in Germany
Japan and the EU have agreed on the outline of a free trade deal after four years of negotiations.
"At the heart of the deal is an agreement for the EU to open its market to the Japanese auto industry, with Tokyo in return scrapping barriers to EU farming products, especially dairy," says AFP.
Yesterday's announcement, which came on the eve of the G20 summit in Hamburg, has been seen as a clear rejection of protectionist trade policies touted by US President Donald Trump.
As Brexit negotiations get underway, the pact "will also show skeptics in the EU the benefits of staying in the grouping with access to inner and outer markets," the Japan Times reports.
But the BBC reports that few specific details are known and "a full, workable agreement may take some time".
It comes six months after Trump followed through on his campaign promise to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal with Japan and ten other Pacific ring countries.
"Although some are saying that the time of isolationism is coming again, we are demonstrating that this is not the case," European Council President Donald Tusk told the BBC.