UK Signs Free Trade Agreement with Japan
Japan and Britain signed a bilateral free trade deal on Friday in the the first such major post-Brexit deal, reducing tariffs on Yorkshire lamb sold in Japan, as well as auto parts for Japan’s Nissan plant.
“How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade,” British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss told reporters at a signing ceremony in Tokyo.
Appearing with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Truss called the agreement a “landmark” as the first major trade deal for Britain since it returned as an independent trading nation.
The deal, estimated to boost British trade with Japan by 15 billion pounds ($19.5 billion), will also make it easier for British companies to operate in Japan.
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Financial services make up Britain’s biggest export to Japan, now at 28%.
English sparkling wine, made-in-Britain coats and shoes, Stilton cheese, as well as pork and biscuits from Britain, will become cheaper in Japan.
Motegi said the bilateral deal ensures continuity from the preceding European agreement, while adding new areas for cooperation such as e-commerce and financial services.
Japan’s existing free trade agreement with the European Union includes Britain only until the end of this year, as it exits the EU.