Original title: Holding hands with Japan and the United Kingdom to Brexit urgently need a booster
Source: Beijing Business Daily
The United Kingdom won the first place after the A “Customs Clearance Document”, from Japan. Compared with the lengthy tears during negotiations with the European Union, the negotiations between the UK and Japan are much quicker. It only took less than 5 months from the beginning of the negotiations to the formal signing of the agreement. It seems that this is a win-win agreement. For Japan, the threshold for exports of beef and cars is much lower. For the United Kingdom, the strategic significance is even more obvious. After all, when the “Brexit” agreement is still inconclusive, This “hand in hand” with Japan will undoubtedly help the market regain confidence in the field of foreign trade.
“This is the first new free trade agreement reached since the UK once again became an independent trading nation.” For the “UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” “The British Secretary of Trade Liz Tras gave the above definition.
On October 23, 2020 local time, in Tokyo, Japan, Liztras and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi formally signed this agreement. The UK Department of International Trade pointed out that the economic partnership agreement signed by the two countries will take effect after the UK officially leaves the EU in early 2021. A statement issued by the British government stated that this trade agreement will cover key areas such as manufacturing, creative industries, and agricultural products.
In terms of specific terms, this agreement is similar to the existing agreements of Japan and the European Union. British companies will enjoy tariff-free trade with 99% of Japan’s exports, including British sparkling wine, Scotland The export scale of British food including beef and Welsh lamb to Japan will be expanded.
At the same time, the British government will also significantly reduce tariffs on Kobe beef and other commodities imported from Japan. Tariffs on Japanese Kobe beef will be reduced by up to 60%. Udon noodles, bluefin tuna, and soy sauce will be the largest tariffs. The reductions are 13%, 22% and 6% respectively. The UK will also gradually abolish tariffs on Japanese cars, and it is expected that by 2026, tariffs on Japanese cars will be reduced to zero.
However, in the field of e-commerce and financial services, the Japan-UK agreement covers a wider range of rules than the Japan-EU agreement, including prohibiting the governments of both parties from requiring companies to disclose algorithms for artificial intelligence technology and encrypted data.
“Although the trade volume between the United Kingdom and Japan is not large, there is more room for cooperation between the United Kingdom and Japan in terms of high-end service industries and high-end manufacturing.” Deputy Institute of International Market Research Institute, Ministry of Commerce Chang Baiming said.
Although has given a lot of praise, the eyes of the United Kingdom are by no means limited to this agreement. After all, the trade volume between Britain and Japan only accounts for 2% of Britain’s foreign trade. Statistics show that the bilateral trade volume between Japan and Britain last year was 38 billion U.S. dollars. Japan is the 11th largest export market for the UK and the UK is the 12th largest export market for Japan. According to Reuters, there are about 1,000 Japanese companies in the UK, including large car companies. After the agreement comes into effect, it is expected to increase the trade volume between Britain and Japan by 15.2 billion pounds.
”For the United Kingdom, this agreement is more important. In the context of economic globalization, regional economic cooperation has become the only bright spot. The agreement between the two countries is actually a step forward in regional economic cooperation. An important step,” said Sang Baichuan, dean of the Institute of International Economics, University of International Business and Economics.
Sang Baichuan further pointed out that after Britain’s “Brexit”, the direction of economic and trade relations with other countries in the world is a matter of concern to all countries in the world, and many British companies are globalized Enterprises, therefore, the United Kingdom needs to safeguard its own interests in an open world. The trade agreement signed with Japan this time is a landmark product of the United Kingdom’s continued important role in regional economic cooperation.
In addition, Bai Ming mentioned that on the issue of “Brexit”, the negotiations between the UK and the EU have been fiercely contested. At this time, the UK is seeking to expand the economic and trade space, one is the United States and the other It is Japan, both of which are large economies. If an agreement can be reached with them, then the UK will not be so passive in negotiations with the EU.
“This agreement paved the way for the British business community to enter the Asia-Pacific region and paved the way for joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.” At the press conference after the signing ceremony, Liz Terrass bluntly.
Toshimitsu Motegi added that the Japanese government is willing to provide necessary assistance for Britain to join the CPTPP, and Japan welcomes Britain to join the partnership agreement. Next year, Britain will assume the rotating chairmanship of the Group of Seven nations, and Japan will also assume the rotating chairmanship of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. The opportunity is self-evident.
Bai Ming said that Britain is indeed a little interested in CPTPP, and Japan also wants to invite Britain to join, and the British-Japanese agreement has created conditions for this and reduced the threshold.
However, regarding the UK’s accession to the CPTPP, Sang Baichuan mentioned that the UK has its own demands, but there are still certain obstacles to joining the CPTPP. The door for consultations with CPTPP members has not been opened yet. In addition, there are also some voices of opposition in the United Kingdom. After all, the “Brexit” of the United Kingdom is due to the consideration of some restrictions on the EU’s economic autonomy. And now if you want to join another large trade organization, there may also be opposition in the country.
In addition to using this trade agreement as a paving stone to enter the CPTPP and even the global trading system, for the UK, which is currently struggling in the quagmire of “Brexit”, this The agreement also sent a signal to the outside world that the United Kingdom has the ability to independently reach trade agreements with major economies, and the road to “Brexit” is correct.
British Prime Minister Johnson once argued that one of the important advantages of “Brexit” is the ability to sign free trade agreements with other countries that best suits British interests.
At present, the risk of “no-deal Brexit” is accumulating. In a research report released on October 20, French credit insurance company Yuli Aventura raised the probability that the UK and the EU failed to sign a trade agreement to 45%.
Although the United Kingdom claims that it is ready to deal with a “no-deal Brexit”, Johnson also said that the United Kingdom can successfully cope with all the consequences of the “no-deal Brexit”, but “no-deal Brexit” “The consequences are severe for British companies. Ian Wright, CEO of the British Food and Beverage Federation, also said: “If an agreement is not reached, consumers will pay a heavy price. Food and beverage imported from the EU will face an average high tariff of 18%, which will increase animal prices. . And the epidemic will magnify the impact of the’no-deal Brexit’.”
Yuli Anyi pointed out in the above report that if the agreement is not signed, the UK’s GDP will shrink by 4.8% in 2021. , Investment plummeted by 25.8%, exports fell by 13%, and the inflation rate exceeded 5% for at least six months. This was mainly due to the increase in import taxes and fees that caused the price of imported goods to rise.
Therefore, the “hand in hand” with Japan at this time is also like a reassurance for the company. In fact, it is not just Japan. Since “Brexit”, Britain has been on the road of trade negotiations. Last week, Truss also said that Britain and the United States are strengthening trade negotiations and announced the opening of the fifth round of negotiations on commodity tariffs. The UK Trade Department said that 40 negotiations will be held in the next two weeks.
However, no matter how eager the UK is to find new friends, trade with the EU is still a hurdle that must be overcome. According to statistics from the UK, in 2018, UK exports to the EU accounted for 46% of UK exports and imports accounted for 54% of UK imports. Fortunately, the British government’s attitude has softened a bit recently. Last week, it announced the restart of a new round of negotiations with the European Union, which began on the afternoon of October 22, local time. Beijing Commercial Daily reporter Tao Fengtang Yitian
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