US-Europe Trade Talks Begin Amidst “Spy Business”

Amidst the security concerns of European allies of the United States, talks between the US and Europe will push through even with “sore feelings”. Euro officials said the free trade agreement with the United States as a “once-in-a-generation prize”. The prospects of the deal involve hundreds of billions of dollars in yearly growth and jobs for the lagging economies of both the United States and Europe.

Analysts expect that the agreement would only be met through months of intense negotiations until the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is actually completed. Countries have begun to revise specific details of exclusions and inclusions. The trade agreement will also include agricultural policies, airline rights, data privacy and intellectual property.

However, the reveal of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden regarding the US NSA’s spying activities greatly overshadowed the trade talks. European leaders still have their disappointment over the “spy reports”. France called for the postponing of the trade talks as a sign of its disappointment. German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls the NSA’s actions a great disappointment and a throwback to the previous “Cold War”.

The European Parliament has voted to begin an investigation about the NSA’s activities and to pan out security and surveillance issues on Monday. The investigation will also focus on the data protection and privacy rights of European Union citizens.

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