Trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the EU and Japan and Singapore were “partners in defending multilateralism and ensuring strong international organisations”
Photo: European Commission
Commission’s far east trade deals, Facebook’s new privacy choices, Netflix’s investment in Europe, Trump’s talks with North Korea, Erdogan’s snap election. Delano’s breakfast briefing for 19 April.
EU agrees Japan and Singapore trade deals
The European Commission on Wednesday endorsed final drafts of trade deals with Japan and Singapore that it hopes will be in effect by the middle of 2019. The agreements will have to be approved by EU national parliaments, the European Parliament, and the Japanese parliament. Reuters reports that the deal with Japan would remove EU tariffs on cars and for most car parts imported from Japan. It would also scrap Japanese duties of some 30 percent on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines, reducing by 1 billion euros the cost of EU goods exported to Japan. The deal would also secure access to large public tenders in Japan. Alluding to the recent trade spat between the United States and China, EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the deals “send a strong signal to the world that the EU is committed to open rule-based trade.”
Facebook announces GDPR compliance
Social media giant Facebook, which has faced a barrage of criticism over data privacy recently, has announced that it will “introducing new privacy experiences” to make sure it is compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The platform will now ask users whether it can use data from its partners to show them ads, the sharing of political, religious, and relationship information, and permission to use face recognition technology (which so far has not been used in the EU). The news was announced in a blog on Tuesday. “As soon as GDPR was finalized, we realized it was an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy,” the blog states.
Netflix to double European productions
In an exclusive story, the Financial Times reports that Netflix plans to invest around $1bn on original productions in Europe this year. That represents a two-fold increase, with dramas in English and other languages planned for production in seven European countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands. The FT says that the company is targeting an international market of 700 million households, including 300 million in Europe.
Trump confirms Kim Jong-un meet
US president Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.” The Guardian reports that president said the meeting would take place “in the coming weeks” following pre-negotiation discussions in North Korea by CIA director Mike Pompeo, who is Trump’s nominee to become the next Secretary of State. The meeting will be the first ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
Snap elections called in Turkey
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that elections planned for November 2019 will now take place this June. Citing the situation in Syria and developments in Iraq, Erdoğan said bringing forward the elections was “paramount for Turkey to overcome uncertainty.” The Guardian says the elections, which take place under an ongoing state of emergency, “could pave the way for a single-party state with few checks on the power of the president.”