EU-Japan EPA a “Stumbling Block or a Stepping Stone” toward Multilateralism for Food and Beverages
Keywords:Regional Trade Agreement, Food Trade, Geographical Indications, EU, Japan
In an increasingly regionalized world, both intra-regional and inter-regional trade agreements have flourished in the EU and in Asia, in particular with Japan, which is the world’s fourth largest national economy and, therefore, has a key role as trader and investor within the global dynamics (European Commission, 2017e) with the aim of creating networks to facilitate trade and thus boost the regional economy, especially after the financial crisis at the end of the 1990s (Amighini et al., 2016) and the global crisis of 2008. Asia has been experiencing a notable increase in its regional share of global GDP and this trend is expected to continue. Therefore, it is very important for the EU to ensure good trade relations with Asia.
The new EU-Japan trade agreement expected to be in force in 2019 (MOFA, 2018b) is going to have a strong impact upon trade between EU and Japan, especially with regard to food products, by recognizing their special status and offering protection to 210 European products on the Japanese market and to 56 Japanese products on the European market.
The main aim of this paper is to establish whether this agreement represents a first step for a wide recognition at global level of GI products – given that they are still a matter of dispute within the WTO – or whether it is a single act designed not to affect international trade.
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