A summary of the exchange of views with Emil Karanikolov, Bulgarian Minister of Economy, representing the President-in-Office of the Council, is available.
The value of EU agri-food exports increased by €1 billion between November 2016 and November 2017 to €12.7 billion, according to the latest monthly trade report from the European Commission. With monthly agri-food imports of around €10 billion, the monthly trade balance in agri-food products remains around €2.7 billion.
Following the political agreement in principle reached in July 2017, a final accord on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was announced on 8 December 2017. The Commission aims that the agreement come into effect before the end of its mandate in 2019, after the approval of the Council and the European Parliament. However, negotiations on investment protection standards and investment protection dispute resolution will continue.
The European Commission has quietly concluded the free trade agreement with Japan today, but the European Council and European Parliament must still decide. GUE/NGL MEPs warn that the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) contains many of the same problems as TTIP and CETA which European citizens have clearly stated that they find unacceptable.