Why It Matters

New EU-Japan deal a win for free trade

In a clear signal against protectionism, the European Union and Japan on Tuesday signed an economic partnership deal that, when ratified by the middle of next year, will create the world's biggest free trade bloc.

The EU, when taken as a group, is the world's largest economy and Japan is the fourth, with the United States and China in between. Collectively, the EU and Japan account for about 30 per cent of the world's economy and 40 per cent of global trade.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2018, with the headline 'New deal a win for free trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe