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INTA Chair Bernd Lange and Rapporteur Pedro Silva Pereira made the following statements after the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan.

Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), Chair of the International Trade Committee said: I welcome this landmark deal among two of the world's most important economies at the end of a turbulent year. The conclusion of the EU-Japan trade agreement sends a powerful political signal to the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference and all trading partners. It shows that the EU and Japan want to cooperate and build bridges together instead of hiding behind the walls of protectionism. Parliament will now scrutinize the final text in detail in the weeks and months to come. The agreement must meet the highest standards when it comes to the protection of workers' rights, with special attention to the eight ILO core labour standards, and the environment and it must safeguard our right to regulate. An agreement that fulfils these requirements can be a crucial piece in the puzzle to regulate globalisation. The European Parliament has the final word on this free trade deal”.

Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D, PT), the EP's Standing Rapporteur for trade with Japan said: “Today is for sure a good day for EU-Japan relations and for a new global rules-based trade order. I welcome the conclusion of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which is the most important bilateral trade agreement the EU has ever concluded. The European Parliament has had a demanding stance from the very beginning of the process and is looking for an ambitious and balanced trade agreement with high standards that delivers on sustainable growth and jobs. We now look forward to the ratification process before the 2019 European elections. The text of the agreement, which does not include a dispute resolution mechanism for investment protection, will be fully discussed and analysed in the coming months and the Parliament will, of course, make its final decision according to the best interests of our citizens and businesses”.