The Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the European Union: analysis of the first years of life and prospects for the future



On 1 February 2019 the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) entered into force, the
largest trade agreement signed to date by the EU. The conclusion of this agreement meant the creation
of the largest free trade area in the world, covering nearly 640 million people and one-third of the
world's gross domestic product, all in the middle of the Trump era, a clear defender of protectionism.
It eliminates over 90% of the tariffs paid by European companies exporting to Japan and represents
a clear move against protectionism. Both powers share the same interests and values of democracy,
the rule of law and the defence of human rights. This paper analyses the EPA taking into account the
negotiation process, the normative text, the key elements and the impact of its first years of
implementation. The work is completed with some conclusions, taking into account the repercussions
of the crisis caused by COVID-19.


Economic Partnership Agreement, European Union, free trade, Japan, multilateralism

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