The EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement could be the EU’s biggest ever trade deal, affecting the daily lives of more than 630 million people, and covering a trade volume twice as large as the EU-Canada deal (known as CETA). Together, the EU and Japan account for more than one-third of the world’s GDP. As JEFTA covers pretty much every sector of the economy, and the regulatory standards it refers to as “non-tariff barriers” to trade, Greenpeace believes that this deal will jeopardise established environmental protections within the European Union.
Environmental protection on issues like logging is even weaker than what Japan had already agreed to in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and is likely to have consequences on efforts fighting trade in illegal logging worldwide. JEFTA lacks concrete, binding commitments on environmental, sustainable development and labour issues, and continues to promote special rights for foreign corporate investors at the expense of people and the planet. By negotiating JEFTA in secrecy, with even less transparency than for the now-defunct EU-US deal (known as TTIP), the EU Commission and national governments have failed to stick to their commitments on transparency and environmental protection.