The TPP Experience: What are the Next Steps for the EU-Japan FTA and TTIP?
On December 11, 2015 the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted a lively lunch discussion on U.S.-EU-Japan economic relations, and the implications for global trade order with Yorizumi Watanabe, professor at the Faculty of Policy Management in Keio University, Tokyo, Japan; and Mauro Rafaelle Petriccione, deputy director general for trade in the European Commission. The debate was moderated by Daniel Twining, senior fellow for GMF’s Asia Program, and included over 40 participants from various institutions and organizations in Brussels.
The discussion underlined the economic importance of the major multilateral free trade agreements, and the extensive implications for the participating states. Professor Watanabe emphasized that Japan is interested in high-quality rules, and high-level market access liberalization with the European Union as well as across Asia-Pacific. Following Professor Watanabe’s comments on the need to increase Japan, EU, and U.S. coherence in restoring trade multilateralism, Petriccione said that “Japan adds a new dimension to our Asia strategy,” and suggested that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) experience will favor a more open strategy internationally toward future multilateral trade agreements.
The debate was followed by a question and answer session, in which the audience focused on a multitude of issues including the domestic implications of TPP, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), e-commerce, the future of EU trade relations with India, and the role of China’s investments around the world. Petriccione concluded that TPP will not constitute a template for a possible future agreement between the EU and Japan, but the existence of TPP itself sets an important precedent for EU’s overall economic, and trade strategy.