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U.S., EU settle decade-long dispute over importing clams, oysters, other shellfish

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U.S., EU settle decade-long dispute over importing clams, oysters, other shellfish
The dispute, which dates back to 2011, previously disrupted trade between the U.S. and EU that included shellfish like clams, pictured here during a harvest, and oysters. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The European Union and the United States agreed Friday to end a decade-long trade dispute and allow imports and exports of shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels and scallops.

The agreement allows producers in Massachusetts and Washington to export live, raw and processed bivalve molluscan shellfish to European Union countries. In turn, producers in Spain and the Netherlands will be allowed to export the same shellfish to the United States.

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"Today's announcement represents a positive step in the trade relationship between the United States and EU," U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

"This latest resumption of trade in bivalve mollusks, help[s] to create sustainable economic growth and jobs for our workers," a top European Union official said Friday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

"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."

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Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission executive vice-president and commissioner for trade, welcomed the deal -- which resolved some longstanding issues between the United States and the 27-member European alliance.

"It shows that our efforts to forge a positive, forward-looking trade agenda with the United States are paying off," Dombrovskis said in a statement.

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Dombrovskis also cited other breakthroughs -- like last year's settlement of the Airbus-Boeing dispute, launching the Trade and Technology Council and an agreement last fall to pause a steel and aluminum trade dispute -- as progress between Washington and Brussels.

"All these achievements, plus this latest resumption of trade in bivalve mollusks, help to create sustainable economic growth and jobs for our workers," he added.

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