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

— 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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid