- THE MAGAZINE
Many Europeans are furious over revelations that the U.S. intelligence service National Security Agency (NSA) targeted the European Union and several European countries with its far-reaching spying activities. These activities have led to angry reactions from several senior EU and German politicians.
The United States could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows, German officials said Monday, as Europe weighed a response to allegations that the Americans spied on their closest European allies.
Additionally, the U.S. has been accused of spying allegations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. To that end, the revelations could have an impact on major legislative and trade initiatives between the United States and the European Union.
This includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the proposed free trade area between the United States and the European Union, the two largest economies in the world.
“The NSA surveillance issue is creating a problem for close allies that cannot be allowed to fester much longer and effectively demands a prompt resolution,” says Raymond Calamaro, an international trade attorney at global law firm Hogan Lovells. “For this reason it may cause some delay in the TTIP, and may provide a basis for continued grumbling by some critics of the U.S, but in the end no more than that, at least with respect to TTIP.”
Some German lawmakers are saying negotiations over an EU-U.S. free-trade agreement should be suspended, as rising European distrust of Washington over U.S. spying could derail negotiations.
Trade officials on both sides of the Atlantic sought to keep concerns about U.S. spying on European officials from upsetting the TTIP, which is designed to boost economic growth in major developed economies.
According to Calamaro, “The success or failure of the TTIP, and the speed at which it ultimately moves, will turn on other issues, including: (1) how much the U.S. and EU business communities press for achievable solutions; (2) how willing are the negotiators to make such solutions work; and (3) will the U.S. Congress produce suitable Trade Promotion Authority (“Fast Track”) legislation in time and will the European Parliament support realistic trade solutions.”