Japan Free Trade Agreement: A Boost for the Wine Industry
Japan is the world`s third-largest economy and an important market for wine. In 2019, Japan imported about $2.5 billion worth of wine, making it the eighth-largest wine importing country in the world. However, until recently, high tariffs and cultural barriers have made it difficult for foreign wine producers to penetrate the Japanese market.
The good news for wine producers and exporters around the world is that Japan has signed a series of free trade agreements (FTAs) in recent years, making it easier to do business in the country. In particular, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which came into effect in 2015, has been a game-changer for the Australian wine industry. The agreement eliminated the 15% tariff on Australian wine imports and created a more level playing field for Australian producers in Japan.
In December 2018, Japan signed another free trade agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which further opens up the Japanese market to foreign wine producers. The CPTPP is a multilateral trade agreement that includes Japan, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The agreement eliminates or reduces tariffs on a wide range of products, including wine.
Under the CPTPP, Japan will eliminate its 15% tariff on Canadian wine imports over the next four years and reduce its tariffs on Chilean and Australian wines. For New Zealand wine, which already enjoys duty-free access to Japan under the Japan-New Zealand Economic Partnership Agreement, the CPTPP will provide further market opportunities by eliminating tariffs on bottled wine exports.
The CPTPP is not the only trade agreement that benefits the wine industry. In September 2019, Japan and the United States signed a limited trade agreement that includes the elimination of Japan`s 15% tariff on American wine imports. The agreement is a win for American wine producers who have faced higher tariffs than their Australian and New Zealand counterparts.
In conclusion, a series of free trade agreements have opened up the Japanese market to foreign wine producers, providing new opportunities for the global wine industry. These agreements are an important step towards creating a more level playing field for producers around the world and ensuring that consumers have access to a wider range of quality wines at lower prices. As the Japanese market continues to grow, the wine industry can look forward to a brighter future.