S&Ds welcome the EU-Japan agreement concluded today and will now scrutinise it

EU Japan flags on containers

Reacting to the conclusion of the EU-Japan trade deal today, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament welcomed the agreement and announced that they will scrutinise the final text in order to check if it meets the expectations of EU citizens and if it expresses a progressive view of the EU's trade agenda. The S&D Group recalled that besides refusing an old-fashioned private Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, they also insisted on a strong and ambitious sustainable development chapter with a review clause on the enforcement mechanisms.
Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D MEP and negotiator on the EU-Japan trade deal, said:
“Today’s conclusion of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is welcome news. This trade agreement is economically and strategically very important as it will take EU-Japan relations to a new level, giving fresh impetus to an open, fair and rule-based trade system. A trade deal between the EU and Japan would bring economic benefits, but it must go hand-in-hand with sustainable development. We therefore fought for a strong and ambitious sustainable development chapter with a review clause on the enforcement of labour and environmental provisions. We take note that negotiations on investment protection will continue in a separate track and we reaffirm our clear opposition to any old-fashioned private ISDS mechanism. The publication of the negotiation mandate, which the Socialists and Democrats had insisted on, was a positive step towards more transparency in trade deals.
“The Socialists and Democrats will now analyse the fine print of the final text in order to verify if it comes with ambitious consumer, social and environmental standards and protects public services and the right to regulate. We want to see a trade deal that defends the EU’s interests and values and provides real benefits for people and businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. In the coming months we want to fully discuss the content of this specific agreement on its own merits”.
Alessia Mosca, S&D MEP and spokesperson on trade, said:
“That on the eve of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires, the EU and Japan, who together represent one third of world’s GDP, reach an agreement on a major trade deal, clearly demonstrates their support for an open and value-based trade system.
“At a time when blind protectionism is growing, Europe’s third way to trade is gaining momentum. By concluding this trade agreement, we are globally promoting our values. The sheer size of its trade volume will make the EU-Japan deal one of the major agreements in the world, thus enabling the EU and Japan to establish the gold standard for trade policy.
“Paradoxically, Trump’s isolationism is creating a push for European policies. From trade to defence, his walls are fostering the role of the EU as a global leader. We now have the chance to have a real impact on the world-stage with our value-based approach.”