Stories

SaveSave story

The EU and Japan scorn Trump's ambivalence on free trade

Preparing for the G-20 Summit in Hamburg (Christian Charisius/AP)

The EU and Japan will announce the framework of a new trade deal timed to a G-20 meeting Friday in Hamburg, a thumb in the nose of President Donald Trump, who has systematically rejected the system of trade agreements that have governed the global economy for decades, per the New York Times.

The interim agreement, to be announced Thursday, would, among other things, make it easier for European carmakers to sell their vehicles in Japan, and visa versa. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, demonstrably rebuked the loud anti-free trade rhetoric of the Trump administration, tweeting, "EU-Japan Summit on Thursday. Ambitious free and fair trade deal in the making."

Why it matters: The EU-Japanese deal suggests a move to isolate the Trump administration, whose language and actions — among them, his abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Asia and rebuke of NAFTA — have created grave worries about the trading system that has underpinned the largely peaceful economic growth of the post-World War II decades.