Farmers the big winners from Japan trade deal
Irish farmers stand to be among the main winners from an agreement between the EU and Japan to conclude a deal to scrap tariffs on much of their bilateral trade.
The deal will see duties wiped out on over 90pc of EU agricultural exports.
For Irish consumers it could, eventually, bring down the price of Japanese cars as tariffs are phased out.
Exporters of meat and dairy as well as wines and other specialty foods, currently all highly protected in Japan, will see the biggest windfall, EU farm lobby Copa-Cogeca said in a statement
"It is good news for EU producers that this ambitious trade deal has been wrapped up," said Martin Merrild, head of Copa.
That sentiment was echoed here in Ireland. Meat Industry Ireland's Cormac Healy said new market access was vital, especially in the light of Brexit.
He said Japan was an important export destination for pigmeat, and exporters were working on building beef exports to the country.
With tariff rates due to drop to 9pc for beef over the 15 year period of the deal, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said the concessions were hugely significant. The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) said this could yield massive opportunities, with Japan importing 60pc of its food. "It is important that we grasp it," said president John Comer.