EU, US thaw trade tensions further with mollusc sales
The European Union and the United States have agreed to resume trade in oysters, clams, mussels and scallops starting at the end of February, settling a 10-year trade dispute.
Trade in live mollusks between the EU and the U.S. had stopped in 2011 due to a divide in regulatory standards.
Under the deal announced on Feb. 4, two EU member countries - Spain and the Netherlands - will be allowed to export mollusks to the U.S., while two American states - Massachusetts and Washington - can now trade to the EU.
“I warmly welcome this deal, which resolves a longstanding issue we have been working hard to unlock,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission executive vice president and commissioner for trade.
Both sides praised the deal as another positive step in their trade relationship since U.S. President Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump.
“Since the EU-U.S. summit in June 2021, we have made several breakthroughs: grounding the Airbus-Boeing dispute, launching the Trade and Technology Council and pausing our steel and aluminum trade dispute,” Dombrovskis said. “All these achievements, plus this latest resumption of trade in bivalve mollusks, help to create sustainable economic growth and jobs for our workers.”
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai called it “a positive step in the trade relationship between the United States and EU,” which she said the U.S. government aimed to strengthen.
In addition to Spain and the Netherlands, the EU said that other member countries could join the agreement and be allowed to export mollusks to the U.S. under a simplified authorization procedure.
The U.S. is the EU’s largest trade and investment partner. According to the US government, the United States exported $900 million (785 million euros) worth of seafood to the EU last year.