As announced here I seriously doubt that POTUS Trump will serve full four years. But he is likely to make it at least to the G20 Summit in Hamburg in July this year.

G20 Summit host Merkel has a strong interest in promoting free trade regardless of Mr. Trump’s likes and dislikes. And there is an ally in this regard that never look more attractive than now, Prime Minister Abe of Japan.

It is no longer a secret of the backroom floors in Tokyo, Brussels and Berlin that the EU and Japan now finally want to reach a conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks and formally kick off the process. Listening to my friends in business and politics in Tokyo, I hear that everything is under full preparation to make the official announcement in Hamburg on July 7 or 8 at the G20 Summit.

It would be a strong message of the free-trading world to Trump. And it would also be a strong message to China, in particular for Mr. Abe.

The EU-Japan EPA negotiations have been a never-ending story till now. But I predict that the conclusion will be finally announced at the Hamburg Summit in less than two months (Probability 90% plus).

Jochen Legewie

Jochen Legewie

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