HomeEuropeOysters back on the menu with EU-US trade truce

Oysters back on the menu with EU-US trade truce

Brussels and Washington announced Friday that trade in mussels, clams, oysters and scallops will resume between Spain, the Netherlands, and the U.S. states of Massachusetts and Washington at the end of February.

“I warmly welcome this deal, which resolves a long-standing issue we have been working hard to unlock. It shows that our efforts to forge a positive, forward-looking trade agenda with the United States are paying off,” said EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis.

The U.S. and EU have had a freeze on trading raw mollusc shellfish for more than a decade.

The European Commission banned U.S. imports in 2011, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had a ban on EU imports since the 1980s, in both cases for food safety reasons. In 2020, Spain and the Netherlands were respectively the world’s second and 15th biggest mollusc exporters, according to International Trade Centre data; while the U.S. was ranked as the 12th largest exporter of molluscs.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke of the agreement as a “positive step” in transatlantic trade relations. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to both addressing trade barriers and building new opportunities for U.S. producers, and we will continue to work to strengthen the U.S.-EU trade relationship,” she added.

The agreement also creates a “simplified” pathway for other EU countries and U.S. states to join the agreement, according to the Commission’s statement. “Commerce shall resume shortly, and I look forward to the extension of this opportunity to more EU member states in the near future,” said Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. 



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