How NSA Spying On Angela Merkel May Scuttle TAFTA/TTIP Trade Agreement
from the another-good-deed-by-Snowden dept
There’s been plenty of attention paid to the news of the past week or so about the NSA spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. While some still insist this is no big deal, the eventual consequences could be a very big deal. First off, remember that it was just a few months ago that (in the wake of the initial Snowden leaks), the US and Germany had made a silly pledge, which no one believed, that they wouldn’t spy on each other. That “agreement” is already being put to the test.
As we discussed last week, the real “casualty” from all of these discussions may actually be that America can’t get away with being a massive hypocrite anymore, despite so much of its foreign and domestic policy being built around being able to get away with just that. And, a large part of that is how the US pushes other countries into very questionable trade agreements — another thing that we’ve been following for years. And those two things may be on a collision course. For quite some time now, we’ve been discussing the big trade agreement that the EU and the US are working towards, called TAFTA or TTIP. But one of the lesser noticed points about the revelations of the spying on Merkel is that many people in Germany are saying that negotiations on this agreement should be put on hold:
The chancellor’s office is also now considering the possibility that the much-desired trans-Atlantic free trade agreement could fail if the NSA affair isn’t properly cleared up. Since the latest revelations came out, some 58 percent of Germans say they support breaking off ongoing talks, while just 28 percent are against it. “We should put the negotiations for a free-trade agreement with the US on ice until the accusations against the NSA have been clarified,” says Economy Minister Ilse Aigner, a member of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
There are many reasons why TAFTA/TTIP is looking like a bad deal anyway, having nothing to do with the NSA spying, but if the Snowden docs lead to that agreement being put “on ice” for a while, that seems like another useful outcome.