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JUL 06, 2017 | JAPAN | EUROPEAN UNION

EU-Japan FTA: A 20th Century Trade Agreement

BRUSSELS — July 6, 2017 — While there may be many advantages to the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement concluded today, the absence of provisions specific to digital trade limits the benefits for two economies that are digitizing at increasing speed.

“The future of the global economy lies in data. This is a missed opportunity for two economies so heavily reliant on digital trade. They’ve reached what is essentially a 20th century trade agreement,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “Future trade agreements must include strong digital trade and data flows provisions to enable 21st century technologies.”

Since 2013, the EU and Japan have been negotiating a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement/Free Trade Agreement (EPA/FTA). BSA has been actively encouraging both sides to include digital trade in their FTA, and as part of that to include provisions on international data transfers. By way of contrast, Japan recently negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with the US, Canada, Australia and other countries, which includes strong digital trade provisions.

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