Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) is welcomed by European Council President Donald Tusk at the start of a EU-JAPAN summit in Brussels, Belgium July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman
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Japan and the European Union agreed a free trade pact Thursday to create the world's biggest open economic area and signal resistance to what they see as U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist turn.In the works for four years, it has been pushed over the line toward a final treaty signature in the coming months by the election of Trump and his moves to ditch a Pacific trade pact that included Japan and leave talks with the EU in limbo.Both the EU and Japan, which are also forging a parallel cooperation pact on broader political issues such as security, crisis aid and climate change, forecast that the trade deal will boost economic growth and employment in Japan and in Europe.Juncker stressed the EU would not accept "private tribunals" ruling between business and states.Scotch whisky might not benefit, however, as Britain leaves the EU in 2019 .
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