Local wine producers appear likely to secure exclusive use of the term «retsina» on an international level after an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States protecting European wine names was made public yesterday. The European Commission said the two parties have reached a first-phase agreement that will recognize and protect each other’s wine labels. «This deal will remove the legal uncertainty which has hung over this trade for several years and benefit producers on both sides of the Atlantic,» said Marian Fischer Boel, EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development. The deal covers 17 EU wine names, including Greece’s retsina, a dry white wine flavored with pine resin. The agreement has been made with the Bush government, but the US Congress must also give its approval to officially change the status of the retsina name. The EU exports about 2 billion euros’ worth of wines to the US every year.