News / Europe

NSA Spying Could Complicate US-Europe Trade Talks

NSA Spying Could Complicate US-Europe Trade Talksi
X
October 26, 2013 1:04 AM
Allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency collected millions of phone records across the Atlantic and tapped cell phone communications by world leaders, have overshadowed a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. Some say the allegations have shattered their trust in the Obama administration. Others say the revelations undermine the crucial trans-Atlantic relationship and could complicate trade negotiations between two of the world’s biggest economic blocs. Mil Arcega reports for VOA.

NSA Spying Could Complicate US-Europe Trade Talks

TEXT SIZE - +
— Allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency collected millions of phone records across the Atlantic and tapped cell phone communications by world leaders, have overshadowed a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. Some say the allegations have shattered their trust in the Obama administration. Others say the revelations undermine the crucial trans-Atlantic relationship and could complicate trade negotiations between two of the world’s biggest economic blocs. VOA'S Mil Arcega reports.

The size and reach of the alleged NSA surveillance have outraged European leaders. French President Francois Hollande called it “unacceptable." German Chancellor Angela Merkel - whose cell phone was allegedly tapped by the U.S. - said her trust has been severely shaken. And at an E.U. gathering in Brussels, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle demanded the truth.

“For us, spying on close friends and partners is totally unacceptable. This undermines trust and this can harm our friendship," said Westerwelle.

The White House has denied the most serious charges, saying the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the German leader’s communications.  But less clear is whether it did so in the past.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz expressed disbelief. "I asked United States officials if this is true. They said perhaps, because of anti-terror measures… I could guarantee the European Parliament is not planning terrorist attacks on the United States!”

Unless Americans prove the allegations untrue, Schulz recommends suspending talks on a two-way free trade agreement between Europe and the United States. European leaders have downplayed those remarks.  

But trade expert Stephen Szabo at the Transatlantic Academy said the alleged spying complicates ongoing negotiations.

“I think what will happen is the whole issue of data privacy, which is something the French have been pushing very hard, will now become a much more tougher issue. The Germans have been much more open to having an agreement on data privacy and I think this is going to make it more difficult,” said Szabo.

U.S. trade officials insist conversations regarding N.S.A. surveillance be handled separately from trade negotiations. Szabo said the controversy, though, could give European companies the upper hand.

“It’s bad news for American companies, IT companies like Google and Apple and so on, because now you have the European, the German firms saying - 'go with us because we can protect your data.' So it is going to hurt, it’s going to cost billions of dollars to American companies."

Experts say a Trans-Atlantic trade pact could be the biggest bilateral trade deal in history, representing half of the world’s total economic output and about 30 percent of global trade.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid