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Japan and the EU agree on a sweeping trade pact

Deal to go into effect in 2019 seen as a major win for free trade

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on March 21   © Reuters

TOKYO Japan and the European Union wrapped up negotiations on Dec. 8 on a far-reaching economic partnership agreement set to encompass about 40% of the value of global trade.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker affirmed the move by phone. The finalized pact, which the parties aim to sign next summer at the earliest and have take effect in 2019, will also cover about 30% of the world's gross domestic product.

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