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The 1.5 billion GDP increase from UK-Japan trade deals does not add to the existing EU-Japan trade benefits.



Last week, the government announced that the UK and Japan had signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first major trade agreement the UK signed after withdrawing from the EU.

The Department of International Trade (DIT) said: According to government analysis, trading with Japan will bring 1.5 billion growth to the UK economy.

It is worth clarifying that these benefits are related to 2018, when the UK (part of the EU) did not enter into an FTA with Japan. It is currently not related to the existing EU-Japan trade agreements governing trade between the UK and Japan.

The agreement went into effect in February 2019 and, among other things, lowered tariffs on agricultural products and helped EU companies access Japan’s procurement market.

DIT says it is geared towards the UK economy for new deals and that by gaining additional benefits beyond EU-Japan trade deals, UK companies exporting to Japan could gain a competitive advantage in several areas.

It cites, for example, that there are new safeguards for UK iconic goods and more access to malt producers.

However, it is difficult to quantify how much more new deals will benefit the UK economy than previous ones.

DIT estimates that the price of 2017 will increase annual GDP between 2.1 billion and 3 billion in 15 years compared to the scenario in which no transaction was agreed due to EU-Japan trade deals in 2019. The median estimate increased by 2.6 billion after 15 years.

That’s about 1.1 billion higher than the estimated GDP growth as a result of new transactions. However, there is reason to believe that this estimate is not specifically comparable to the new estimate.

Dr. Meredith Crowley, senior researcher at Think Tank UK in Changing Europe, says what economists call “behind the envelope calculations” or “the ballpark estimates” is Full Fact.

Basically, the 2009 study of Copenhagen Economics and the EU-Japan EPA allocates some of the EU’s expected benefits for the UK in a rather reasonable way.

However, it does not perform a complete General Equilibrium (CGE) analysis of the extent to which Japan’s relationship with each member state of the EU will change under the EPA. Therefore, it is not really comparable to recent government studies based on CGE analysis.

There is uncertainty in each estimate. A more complete assessment of the impact of the new UK-Japan agreement is expected to be announced when the agreement is submitted to Congress.

We approached DIT as to why it is currently estimated that the previous transactions we operate bring more economic benefits than the new ones.

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