Afternoon Coffee: EU and Japan to Commit to Trade Deal, France Sets Target for Elimination of Gas and Diesel Vehicles

Leaders of the European Union and Japan are expected to commit to signing a free trade deal Thursday, Reuters reported. While the the two parties have not yet solidified all of the details for the final agreement, commentators said the announcement signals a rejection of protectionist rhetoric and a continued willingness to cooperate between two of the world’s largest economies.

Electric France

By the year 2040, gasoline and diesel cars will no longer be sold in France, according to the New York Times. The plan to phase out gas and diesel cars is part of a broader effort by France to limit global warming announced Thursday by French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot.

Factory Explosion

An explosion at a clothing factory in Bangladesh killed 13 this week following a boiler malfunction, The Daily Mail reported. Most of the plant’s 5,000 workers were off for a holiday, but the blast caused a section of the six-story building to collapse. At least 10 people have been charged in connection with the incident.

Eurozone Economy 

And finally, an update for the G20 summit: Economic activity in the eurozone likely accelerated in the second quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal, led by a drop in uncertainty based on moves by the European Central Bank and the election of France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron.

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