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Why There Will Probably be a Second Referendum on Brexit

The European elite will not allow a result to stand that undermines their power.

Eric Zuesse

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PRELIMINARY

Brexit (British exit from the European Union) would be a ferocious kidney-blow to the international aristocracy, the people (and their agents) who own controlling blocs of stock in international corporations, and who control politicians in every country (except Russia and perhaps China), and who especially control international organizations such as the executive body of the EU, which is the European Commission (or “EC”). The EC, the executive power within the EU, is an appointed not elected body; each of its members can be fired, at will, by the President of the EC, who is the real President of the EU, who is himself appointed as a result of deal-making amongst appointees who were selected by deal-making amongst elected politicians from each one of the nations that’s a member-state of the EU. The whole process of control at the EU is incredibly convoluted (for example, it includes, by reference, this monstrosity) and prevents real political accountability to the public, so that a career in “public service” at the EU is, essentially, service to the European aristocracy, not to the public.

The EU is set up as a unification of the various national aristocracies, or ‘member states’, that the EU represents; the EU does not represent the public — not even the voting public — anywhere. The President of the EC has enormous power over Europe: he drafts, and the entire EC rubber-stamps, all laws within the EU dictatorship, which is one of the reasons why there is such strong sentiment amongst the public within the EU, to replace the EU dictatorship and to put in its stead some democratic system of government, one that’s responsive to the will of the majority of the public, and not only to the will of the major stockholders in international corporations.

British exit from the European Union would therefore constitute a public rejection of this entire system, and a public preference for restoring the given nation’s democracy — it would constitute a public rejection of rule by Europe’s aristocracy.

There is no actual European democracy; there is, instead, a European dictatorship, or else (via exit from the EU), independent national governments, some of which governments might be democracies, and some of which might be dictatorships. The choice is either continued dictatorship, or else, the possibility of establishing (or re-establishing) national democracy. The EU is an international dictatorship, not really a democratic federation (such as it pretends).

THE BRITISH SITUATION

The UK has no written constitution, and so the UK government “wings it” on matters such as determining when a public vote in a referendum (such as Brexit) is actually final.

The petition to Parliament for there to be a revote about British exit from the EU has already received over four million signatures, and it notes that “Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate,” which means that even if only one-in-forty of those signatures are valid, and there are no additional signers, Parliament will take up the debate.

At that time, the fact that the referendum on Brexit was only “advisory” and not at all obligatory-to-be-adhered-to by the government, will be put forth in Parliament, again and again, as reason why the 52%-to-48% Brexit vote shouldn’t necessarily be considered to be final. That 52% might have been an accurate snapshot of voters’ opinion on June 23rd, but public opinion constantly changes, and a repeat-vote could easily produce a majority decision to “advise” Parliament against leaving the EU.

Furthermore, the petition’s point might also find majority support amongst Parliamentarians, that “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.” There is no fixed rule on these matters in UK, because there is no written constitution; so, a mere majority-vote on such a matter might even be argued not to make good democratic sense. For example, the U.S. Constitution (widely considered to be “democratic”) requires that at least two-thirds of U.S. Senators must vote to pass a proposed treaty in order for it to become law in that country — America’s Founders recognized that adopting any treaty is vastly more binding a national commitment than is merely adopting a new law, which can easily be abandoned or changed by merely another majority-vote to do so.

Since treaty-matters are (by their international nature) inherently more binding than any mere law is, a requirement for some type of “supermajority” or above-50%-standard, does actually make sense, in order to enter into a treaty. (And America’s Constitutional requirement for at least two thirds of the Senate to vote for a proposed treaty in order for the treaty to become law is actually a vital protection of U.S. national sovereignty, and thus of U.S. democracy.)

As to whether a supermajority-requirement in order to exit a treaty makes democratic sense, it doesn’t in this case, because no supermajority was required (as it should have been required) in order to “vote” to join the EU. That supermajority would then be applying ONLY in order to EXIT the EU, not in order to JOIN the EU (which was done without any such supermajority-standard). Consequently, by rights, there should be no re-vote at all: if 50% was required in order to join the EU, then 50% should be required in order to leave it, and that standard was met; it was the 52% vote, and that should be final.

But rights and wrongs do not make policies and laws; power does, and the international corporations possess it, the public unfortunately do not. Consequently, there will probably be a revote, because the owners of international corporations want there to be a revote.

This revote will probably likewise be only “advisory,” and it will probably be required to meet a stiffer standard than a mere majority of the voting electorate to “advise” Parliament to exit the EU, in order for the vote to be “advising” exit.

By that time (the time of the re-vote), the millions of citizens who are eligible to vote and who opposed Brexit but didn’t care as passionately about the matter as did the Brexit people and so didn’t come to the polls on June 23rd, will far more likely be coming to the polls on the re-vote; and the result of that will be a far-shortfall of the 60% or whatever standard Parliament will have set in order for Parliament to be “advised” to exit the EU, and probably there won’t even be as much as a bare majority (50%) of voters favoring Brexit. Those results (probably sub-50% but in any case below the super-majority standard set) would likely end the “Exit the EU” movement, first in UK, and then (by its example, which can conveniently be copied elsewhere) in other EU countries.

And, so, UK will very likely remain in EU; democracy will probably be irrevocably dead in UK, from that time forward; the major stockholders in international corporations will then rigidly control the country. UK’s unwritten constitution will then, without any practical challenge, be whatever the major stockholders in international corporations want it to be. And, as far as other countries in EU are concerned, all of which do have written Constitutions, those Constitutions will become less and less effective over time, as the EU’s international-corporate dictatorship will increasingly take precedence, in the emerging United States of Europe.

It will be the Bilderbergers’ dream, the Trilateralists’ dream, the Davos dream: international dictatorship, by the international aristocracy. The words might superficially sound pleasant, but the outcome will be hell. And here that hell is described regarding U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed TPP treaty for Pacific nations, which is similar to his proposed TTIP and TISA treaties for Atlantic nations (including Europe): regulations regarding the environment, workers’ rights, and product-safety, will be whatever international corporations want them to be; democracy, the sovereignty of the public, will end. Even Obama’s statements advocating action against climate-change are sheer fakery.

Scientists can publish to each other the reality regarding climate-change, but the mass-media project a different ‘reality’ (more favorable to the international-corporate aristocracy), to serve an audience not of consumers but of the international corporations (such as oil companies) that advertise to consumers and that provide the advertising income to the ‘news’ media. The attitude of the people in power (the people who control those corporations) is: the world can simply go to hell; I need my profits.

Profits used to be a privilege that was earned by an investor’s taking risks; now profits have become an investor’s right that the public guarantees to them, and that takes precedence over the public’s sovereignty — investors are now the new sovereign, replacing the public in that capacity. Governments exist to serve investors, not citizens. Citizens have instead become mere subjects, of the aristocracy. It’s a return to feudalism, but in the era of corporations, a body-politic that Benito Mussolini called — and championed as — “corporationism” (or, alternatively, as “fascism”).

CONCLUSION

The significance of the first Brexit vote is: it was the first instance in modern times when UK citizens formally expressed their opposition to what the UK’s aristocracy desire. However, the outcome of that vote is likely to be the same (though by different means) as was the outcome of the Greek referendum regarding the international aristocracy’s 2015 ‘bailout’ (their euphemism for purchase) of the Greek government. In that case, the 5 July 2015 Greek referendum vote was, by a 61% majority, to reject the sale of the nation’s government.

The wikipedia article on that matter closes by noting: “On Monday, 13 July, the Syriza-led government of Greece accepted a bailout package that contains larger pension cuts and tax increases than the one rejected by Greek voters in the referendum.” And that was the end of that. The Greek leader, Syriza Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, even stayed in power. By contrast, Britain’s Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron, promptly resigned when the first Brexit vote turned out to reject his position that the UK should stay in the EU. The process of defeating the people’s rebellion is more drawn-out in Britain than it was in Greece; that’s all. Otherwise, it’ll probably be basically the same end-result in UK as it was in Greece. People must accept their fate, as subjects. Western history is going full-circle back to feudalism, but in its modern form: ‘peaceful’ fascism.

The message of that, if all of this comes to pass, will be, from the masters: Welcome to the future; it belongs to me and my children, not to you and your children. We own it, you don’t. Just get out of our way, because we’ll get there, by hook or by crook, no matter what you do.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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While US seeks to up the ante on pressure on the DPRK, Russia proposes easing sanctions

These proposals show the dichotomy between the philosophy of US and Russian foreign policy

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The United States last week accused the DPRK of violating refined petroleum caps imposed as a part of UN nuclear sanctions dating back to 2006, and is therefore submitting a proposal to cut all petroleum product sales to North Korea.

The Trump administration is keen on not only preserving pressure on North Korea over its nuclear arms development, but in increasing that pressure even as DPRK Chairman, Kim Jong-Un, is serially meeting with world leaders in a bid to secure North Korea’s security and potential nuclear disarmament, a major move that could deescalate tensions in the region, end the war with the South, and ease global apprehensions about the North’s nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, Russia is proposing to the UNSC sanctions relief in some form due to the North’s expressed commitment to nuclear disarmament in the light of recent developments.

Reuters reports:

MOSCOW/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia’s envoy to North Korea said on Wednesday it would be logical to raise the question of easing sanctions on North Korea with the United Nations Security Council, as the United States pushes for a halt to refined petroleum exports to Pyongyang.

“The positive change on the Korean peninsula is now obvious,” said the ambassador, Alexander Matsegora, according to the RIA news agency, adding that Russia was ready to help modernize North Korea’s energy system if sanctions were lifted and if Pyongyang can find funding for the modernization.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

China tried late last month to get the Security Council to issue a statement praising the June 12 Singapore meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and expressing its “willingness to adjust the measures on the DPRK in light of the DPRK’s compliance with the resolutions.”

North Korea’s official name is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

But the United States blocked the statement on June 28 given “ongoing and very sensitive talks between the United States and the DPRK at this time,” diplomats said. The same day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the importance of sanctions enforcement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to informally brief U.N. Security Council envoys along with South Korea and Japan on Friday.

Diplomats say they expect Pompeo to stress the need to maintain pressure on North Korea during his briefing on Friday.

In a tweet on Wednesday Trump said he elicited a promise from Russian President Vladimir Putin to help negotiate with North Korea but did not say how. He also said: “There is no rush, the sanctions remain!”

The United States accused North Korea last week of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel.

The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, which is due to decide by Thursday whether it will tell all U.N. member states to halt all transfers of refined petroleum to Pyongyang.

Such decisions are made by consensus and some diplomats said they expected China or Russia to delay or block the move.

When asked on June 13 about whether sanctions should be loosened, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “We should be thinking about steps in that direction because inevitably there is progress on the track that should be reciprocal, that should be a two-way street. The other side should see encouragement to go forward.”

The proposals of both the United States and Russia are likely to be vetoed by each other, resulting no real changes, but what it displays is the foreign policy positions of both nuclear powers towards the relative position of the DPRK and its rhetorical move towards denuclearization. The US demonstrates that its campaign of increased pressure on the North is necessary to accomplishing the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula, while Russia’s philosophy on the matter is to show a mutual willingness to follow through on verbal commitment with a real show of action towards an improved relationship, mirroring on the ground what is happening in politics.

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Europe divided over possible trade compromise with Trump

Even if a European proposal could score a trade cease fire, the war isn’t over

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US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S. president, the diplomats say that the European Commission’s powerful Secretary-General Martin Selmayr supports the German attempt at rapprochement, which makes it more likely that Juncker will offer some kind of trade fix next week.

“It’s clear that Juncker can’t go to Washington empty-handed,” one diplomat said. He stressed that Juncker’s proposals would be a political signal to Washington and would not be the formal beginning of negotiations, which would have to be approved by EU countries.

European ambassadors will meet on Wednesday to discuss the scope of Juncker’s offer — and indeed whether any offers should be made at all. France’s official position is that Europe must not strike any deal with a gun to its head, or with any country that has opted out of the Paris climate accord, as Trump’s America has done.

While Berlin is terrified by the prospect of 20 percent tariffs on cars and is desperate for a ceasefire deal, France has more fundamental suspicions that the time for compromise is over and that Trump simply wants to destroy EU unity. Paris is concerned that Trump’s next target is its sacred farm sector and is putting more emphasis on the importance of preserving a united political front against Washington.

Two diplomats said Berlin has a broad menu of offers that should be made to Trump: a bilateral deal to cut industrial tariffs, a plurilateral agreement to eliminate car duties worldwide, and a bigger transatlantic trade agreement including regulatory cooperation that potentially also comes with talks on increasing U.S. beef exports into Europe.

Making such generous offers is contentious when Trump crystallized his trade position toward Brussels on CBS news on Sunday: “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”

This undiplomatic bombshell came not long after he reportedly advised French President Emmanuel Macron to quit the EU to get a better trade deal than he was willing to offer the EU28.

In announcing Juncker’s visit on Tuesday, the White House said that he and Trump “will focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership.”

Talking to the enemy

Diplomats note that a French-led camp in Brussels reckons Trump’s goals are strategic, and that he’s not after the sort of deal Germany is offering.

A French government official said that Washington quite simply wants to shift the EU off the stage: “Trump’s objective is that there are two big blocs: The United States and China. A multipower world with Europe as a strong player does not fit in.”

France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire this month also issued a stark warning that Trump is seeking to drive a wedge between France and Germany — courting Paris, while simultaneously attacking Berlin’s trade surplus with the U.S. “In this globalized world, European countries must form a bloc, because what our partners or adversaries want is to divide us,” Le Maire said at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence. “What the United States want, that’s to divide France and Germany.”

Despite these remarks from Le Maire, Anthony Gardner, former ambassador to the EU under the Barack Obama administration, said that he suspects the full magnitude of the threat has not sunk in. “Europe wake up; the U.S. wants to break up the EU,” he tweeted on Sunday. “Remember Belgium’s motto: L’union fait la force. [Unity creates strength]. Especially on trade. No side deals.”

One EU diplomat insisted that Brussels is not blind to these dangers in the run-up to Juncker’s visit.

Trump thinks that Europe is “too big to be controllable by DC, so it’s bad for America. Simple logic. And therefore the only deal that will bring the president to stop the trade war is the deal that breaks up the European market. I don’t quite think that’s the legacy Juncker is aiming for,” the diplomat said.

Europe is source of a deep frustration for Trump, as it runs a massive goods surplus with the U.S., at $147 billion in 2016. In particular, the U.S. president blames Germany’s mighty car exporters for this imbalance.

Leveling the field is not easy, however. With its market of 510 million consumers, Europe not only has the clout to stand up to the United States, but is increasingly setting global standards — particularly on food. This not only limits U.S. exports in Europe but also means that the European model is used in a broader trading ecosystem that includes Canada, Mexico and Japan.

New world order

Marietje Schaake, a liberal Dutch member of the European Parliament, observed that the U.S. trade strategy meshed with Trump’s political agenda.

“You could say there’s a new transatlantic relation emerging, of nationalists, populists and protectionists,” she said, pointing out that Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has cast doubt on America’s commitment to supporting European security.

Trump’s opposition to the EU partly builds on an long-standing American discomfort about the EU’s economic policies.

“We already saw problems during the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, where the U.S. didn’t like EU demands such as on geographical indications [food name protections], and certainly didn’t like that we had ambitious requests in areas like public procurement,” said Pascal Kerneis, managing director of the European Services Forum and a member of the now defunct TTIP advisory group.

Kerneis said that Trump’s trade attacks are shifting the tensions to a completely new level: “He’s attacking on all fronts, hoping to break our unity, particularly between Germany and France.”

France particularly fears that Trump’s duties on Spanish olives could only be the first salvo on Europe’s whole system of farm subsidies.

EU lawmaker Schaake said that France is right to worry about a conflagration. “Once we give in in one area, he will attack at the next one,” she said. “If we allow Trump to play Europeans against each other, sector by sector, it will be a losing game.”

Even if Europe goes about capitulating to Trump’s gripes about the Union, whether it gets back to NATO defense spending or the trade deficit, the question remains whether this will satiate Trump’s political appetite and result in an improved trade perspective and politically acceptable position with Washington, and France’s concern that the matter runs deeper and has a foreign policy agenda behind it, and that caving to Trump’s pressure will only end in defeat for the EU would therefore appear reasonable.

But Germany is staring down the barrel of a possible new round of tariffs that would hurt some of their largest industries and is therefore under a lot of pressure to find a solution, or at least some sort of agreement that could deescalate the situation.

However, Germany’s recent record of resolving international issues is such that Germany is really only scoring cease fire agreements, rather than ending the real political conflicts, referring mainly to the immigration issue which recently resulted only in diffusing some inter Union tensions, but without resolving the problem itself.

In this context, Germany could promise the moon and stars to Trump, possibly avert further trade tensions, but yet fail to address the core political and trade conflicts that have already broken out. Essentially, then, such a compromise would only serve to function as damage control, while leaving Germany and the Union at a further disadvantaged political position relative to the States at the political table.

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EU and Japan ink free trade deal representing over 30% of global GDP

The free trade agreement represents a victory for free trade in the face of growing protectionism

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In a bid to preserve free trade and strengthen their trade partnership, the European Union and Japan have finished a free trade zone agreement that has been sitting in the pipeline for years.

The present global economic outlook provided the needed spur to action to get the ball rolling again and now it has finally reached the end zone and scored another point for free and open trade against the growing influence of protectionism, which has been creeping up with alarming rapidity and far reaching consequences in recent months.

Under the deal, Japan will scrap tariffs on some 94% of goods imported from Europe and the EU in turn is canning 99% of tariffs on Japanese goods.

Between the European Union and Japan, the trade deal impacts about 37% of the world’s GDP, making it one of the largest and impactful of such agreements.

The Japan Times reports:

Top European Union leaders and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed an economic partnership agreement Tuesday in Tokyo, a pact that will create a massive free trade zone accounting for 37 percent of the world’s trade by value.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hastily arranged their visit to Tokyo after Abe was forced to abruptly cancel plans to attend a July 11 signing ceremony in Brussels in the aftermath of flooding and mudslides in western Japan.

Japanese officials said the signing is particularly important to counter intensifying protectionism worldwide triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Negotiations on the pact between Japan and the EU, which started in 2013, had stagnated for a time but regained momentum after Trump took office in January 2017.

“We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism,” Tusk said at a joint news conference with Abe after they signed the agreement.

“The relationship between the EU and Japan has never been stronger. Geographically we are far apart, but politically and economically we could be hardly any closer,” Tusk said. “I’m proud today we are taking our strategic partnership to a new level.”

Tusk stressed that the EU and Japan are partners sharing the same basic values, such as liberal democracy, human rights and rule-based order.

Abe also emphasized the importance of free and fair trade.

“Right now, concerns are rising over protectionism all around the world. We are sending out a message emphasizing the importance of a trade system based on free and fair rules,” he said.

The pact will create a free trade bloc accounting for roughly 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Japan and the EU hope to have the agreement, which still needs to be ratified by both parties, come into force by March.

Under the EPA, tariffs on about 99 percent of Japan’s exported goods to the EU will eventually be eliminated, while duties on 94 percent of EU’s exported items to Japan will be abolished, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The EPA will eliminate duties of 10 percent on Japan’s auto exports to the EU seven years after the pact takes effect. The current 15 percent duties on wine imports from the EU will be eliminated immediately, while those on cheese, pork and beef will be sharply cut.

In total, the EPA will push up domestic GDP by 1 percent, or ¥5 trillion a year, and create 290,000 new jobs nationwide, according to the government.

“The world is now facing raging waves of protectionism. So the signing ceremony at this time is particularly meaningful,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said earlier this month on condition of anonymity.

“The impact for Japan is big,” the official said.

Fukunari Kimura, an economics professor at Keio University, said the EU is now trying to accelerate the ratification process.

“This is a repercussion of President Trump’s policies. They will try to ratify it before Brexit in March of next year,” he said in an interview with The Japan Times last week.

But the deal has raised concerns among some domestic farmers, in particular those from Hokkaido, the country’s major dairy producer.

According to an estimate by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government, the EPA will cut national production in the agriculture, fishery and forestry industries by up to ¥114.3 billion a year, with Hokkaido accounting for 34 percent of the predicted losses.

“The sustainable development of the prefecture’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries is our top priority. We need to make efforts to raise our international competitiveness,” Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi said during a news conference July 10.

Japan and the EU had reached a basic agreement on the EPA in December.

Tokyo also led negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in January 2017.

In March, 11 countries including Japan signed the so-called TPP11, or a revised TPP pact that does not include the U.S.

“The Japan-EU EPA is another important step for Japan to strengthen its trade relationship with key trading partners, and demonstrate that trade liberalization is alive and well, even if the United States is taking a different stance,” wrote Wendy Cutler, a former acting deputy U.S. Trade Representative, in an email sent to The Japan Times last week.

“The EU deal also reduces Japanese dependence on the U.S. market and thus increases its leverage to resist unreasonable trade demands by the United States,” she wrote.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the EU, which accounts for 22 percent of the world’s GDP, was the destination for 11.4 percent of Japanese exports in 2016. In the same year, the figure for the U.S. was 20.2 percent and 17.7 percent for China.

In 2016, Japan’s exports to the EU totaled ¥8 trillion, while reciprocal trade was ¥8.2 trillion.

The deal provides tariff relief for both parties and can improve the quantity of trade between them, expand the economy and create many jobs. It also helps to further diversify their trade portfolios in order to mitigate the prospect of a single global trade partner wielding too much influence, which in turn provides a certain amount of cover from any adverse actions or demands from a single actor. In this way, current trade dependencies can be reduced and free and diversified trade is further bolstered.

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