EU-Japan cooperation EPA: Wine and Motor vehicles: more than just tariff reduction: Deep Regulatory Cooperation through Free Trade Agreements | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


This brief paper aims to give an overview of the most important changes the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) brings to the wine and motor vehicles industry and why these changes have occurred. This paper analyses the most important changes to the wine and motor vehicles tariffs and regulations. The emphasis is on how regulatory cooperation between EU and Japan has reduced non-tariff barriers. By analysing the text of the EPA text and its annexes the paper aims to firstly, get an overview of the most important changes, and secondly, to understand why these changes could have occurred. After analysing the text of the EPA, the paper looks at the geo-political circumstances that could impact the level of regulatory cooperation between the EU and Japan. The main changes in both wine and motor vehicles are regarding tariffs, eradication of double-testing, recognition of certificates, accepting different processes, bottle size, and geographical indications. These are all forms in which regulatory cooperation can be manifested and show that the EU and Japan have developed a deep level of integration between their market regulations. This is partially the result of the benign relationship of trust that has been develop over the last decades between the two, but also the result of favourable geo-political and economic circumstances. Interviews with representatives on both sides have revealed that staying committed to trade liberalisation and taking a stance against protectionism formed important drivers. The US pulling out of the TPP and the TTIP caused the EU and Japan to put each other back on the priority list. The EU creating a free trade agreement with South Korea caused Japan to incentivise the negotiations due to risk of trade diversion.


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