Japan and the United Kingdom signed a post-Brexit bilateral free trade agreement Friday, paving the way for its implementation January 1 next year to ensure continuity in trade and investment beyond the end of London's transition period out of the European Union.
"The UK's International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, described the move as a "landmark moment for Britain", adding ".it shows what we (UK) can do as an independent trading nation".
The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) covers a range of sectors, from food and vehicle parts to textiles and technology. It is largely a copy of the existing EU-Japan trade arrangement, which only applies to Britain until the end of 2020.
The signing came as Mr Johnson's government restarted negotiations with the EU on Thursday, in a bid to avoid tariffs and quotas being reimposed when Britain departs from the single market and Customs union on Dec 31.
Rules on e-commerce and financial services have become more ambitious than the Japan-EU pact, including the prohibition on governments requesting businesses to disclose algorithms used in artificial intelligence technology and encryption data. At the same time, it imports items worth almost 1 trillion yen from Britain, mainly pharmaceuticals, medical products and cars, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
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Motegi said CEPA ensures continuity with the European Union deal, and adds new areas of cooperation, such as e-commerce and financial services. Sales boss John Mason said: "Japan has a unique trading culture and is a market which we definitely want to keep growing in, so a free trade agreement that reduces red tape and certain costs would help make us more competitive".
The new deal removes tariffs on Japanese cars in stages to zero in 2026, which is the same as in the existing Japan-EU agreement, while London will immediately scrap tariffs on railway cars and auto parts.
Mr Motegi reiterated that Japan will continue to support Britain's bid to join the TPP, which is a trade agreement involving 11 countries across the region, including Australia, Vietnam and Canada.
The deal must still be approved by the parliaments of both countries. Failure to broker an agreement will result in EU-UK trade being conducted on World Trade Organisation terms. London is still haggling with Brussels to try and reach an agreement on what their new trade relationship will look like after the Brexit transition period ends at the close of the year.
Suffolk-based medical couches maker Seers Medical - which already receives around three orders a month from Japan - is hoping it will boost its business.
In 2016, he and his wife, Melania, had voted at Public School 59 just a few blocks from Trump Tower in Manhattan. After voting, Mr Trump will be on the move to rallies in the swing states of North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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