The magic word shows up yet again in an NYT piece on a trade agreement being negotiated between Japan and the European Union. While the deal clearly includes some moves towards trade liberalization, which are discussed in the piece, it likely also includes measures for stronger and longer protections for patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. These protectionist measures may well outweigh the liberalizing effect of reductions in tariffs and other conventional barriers to trade.

If that is the case, it is clearly wrong to call the deal a "free" trade agreement, since it on net would be increasing protectionism. I don't happen to know the balance in this pact, but I suspect the NYT doesn't either. In that case, it would be at least as informative to readers to simply call the deal a "trade agreement" and save a word.