BRUSSELS/TOKYO (Reuters) - The leaders of Japan and the European Union aim to agree a free-trade deal in Brussels on Thursday that would remove almost all customs duties and give greater market access to Japanese car manufacturers and European food exporters.
Here are some of the likely winners and losers from the expected deal:
- The accord is expected to be a boost for Japanese auto makers Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki and Mazda, whose European sales still lag behind market leaders Volkswagen AG and PSA Group. Japanese auto parts makers Denso Corp, Aisin Seiki Co, and JTEKT Corp also stand to gain.
- Europe’s food sector is the other big winner, especially in high-quality regional specialities. Japan imposes high tariffs on imports of premium European food and drink products, including wines, cheese, chocolate, meats, and pasta. Wine, along with vermouth, cider, and vinegar, constituted the second largest EU food export category to Japan in 2016.
- Japanese trading house Kanematsu Corp would welcome the agreement, as would Kirin Holdings Co and Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. However, they might see a blow to their distribution of Japanese wines.
- French suppliers Pernod Ricard and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton should also benefit from the reduction in tariffs for premium liquors, wines and spirits.
- The European Commission predicts an increase of up to 10 billion euros ($11.34 billion) for EU exports of processed food, including meat and dairy products, or between 170 percent and 180 percent once the deal takes full effect and tariffs are gradually removed.
- However, Japanese dairy companies such as Meiji and Megmilk Snow Brand Co will face greater competition. They are protected by tariffs of up to 40 percent on processed cheese, which will slowly be removed. Megmilk dominates two-thirds of the domestic market for soft cheese and could lose customers.
- Competition will come in the form of European dairy manufacturers such as Danone, Lactalis and Nestle.
- Pork products made up the largest single EU food export to Japan in 2016. Exporters from Spain and Denmark hope to capitalize on growing Japanese demand for speciality processed meats such as ham, salami, and cured bacon.
($1 = 0.8817 euros)
Reporting by Elizabeth Miles in Brussels and Stanley White in Tokyo; editing by Susan Thomas