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International relations

Free trade sphere grows, leaving US in the cold

Japan-EU pact cuts duties on cars, wine and cheese in blow to American competitiveness

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, flanked by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Council President Donald Tusk (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japan's economic partnership agreement signed with the European Union on Tuesday looks to invigorate a host of other free trade efforts including the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and deals between the EU and South America, raising the unexpected possibility the U.S. will be left out in the cold as the world speeds toward multilateralism.

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