Edward Snowden

Snowden's Revelations Could Jeopardize EU-US Trade Deal


Credit: Aleph/wikimedia

Edward' Snowden's revelations are not only embarrassing to the Obama administration, they could potentially scuttle planned negotiations on the E.U.-U.S. trade agreement announced last month which, if implemented, would be the largest bilateral trade agreement in history.

Der Spiegel reported last weekend that documents released by Snowden show that the NSA is collecting data on European communication and has bugged E.U. offices based in the U.S.

From the Fiscal Times:

Reactions from European leaders were swift and harsh. This is especially true in Germany, where the protection of private correspondence is written into its constitution.

President Obama shrugged off the report, saying all nations collect intelligence. But this argument isn't likely to fly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a former East German who grew up living under the intrusive eye of the Stasi and Soviet surveillance. She immediately condemned the United States, while a parliament member said Snowden should be rewarded for this information with asylum in Germany.

French President Francois Hollande went further than Merkel, saying that talks on the trade agreement should be postponed until European questions about American surveillance are answered.

The economic impact of abandoned trade negotiations could be huge, with billions of dollars in expected additional earnings for the U.S., the E.U., and the rest of the world at stake.  

Even if the trade negotiations do continue despite Snowden's revelations there is a chance that Europeans could try and use the revelations to their advantage, as the Fiscal Times reported:

Now, low-level European diplomats could leverage NSA's spying to win concessions as negotiations over the deal get underway. Expect France, which has called for provisions to fund French movies and art in the deal, to be especially aggressive with anti-NSA rhetoric.

Obama has dismissed the report of NSA spying on Europeans, saying that all nations spy on one another. As true as that may be, his administration's inability to answer questions from foreign governments could compromise a deal that some expect would add $100 billion to the U.S. economy.

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  1. Just to clarify: It’s the actions of Snowden and not the actions of the Obama administration that are queering the deal.

    Seriously, though, the foreign leaders knew America was spying on its allies. The revelations just mean it’s out in the open now and gives them leverage in negotiations.

    1. If Snowden didn’t want to get raped he shouldn’t have dressed like that.

      1. That doesn’t even make sense in this context. And I originated that joke on the internet, joke stealer.

        1. You’re not the president of it!

          1. Has that title reached the point where we can throw it in with ‘Tyrant’, ‘Despot’ and ‘Dictator’ as a universally bad title to have indicating authoritarian rule? (they used to be content neutral but picked up connotations from exposure to politicians)

            1. You’re not the dauphin of defining things.

              1. No, I just got there F?rst

                1. In which Graf did you lay that out?

                  1. Sorry, printed out the data wouldn’t fit in the Marquis.

                    1. Sorry, that one wasn’t very good, thanks for baronet with me.

    2. I was gonna say the same thing.

      “Edward’ Snowden’s revelations are not only embarrassing to the Obama administration, they could potentially scuttle planned negotiations on the E.U.-U.S. trade agreement”.

      Um…no, Feeney. It isn’t Snowden’s revelations that are the problem–it’s Barack Obama’s behavior.

      Along the lines of what Epi said, If Barack Obama raped some EU official and Snowden revealed it to the world, it wouldn’t be Snowden’s fault if the Europeans didn’t want to go through on the trade deal after it became public. It would be Barack Obama’s fault for raping an EU official.

      I mean, how can you misattribute blame on something like that accidentally? The mistake was Snowden’s for revealing the truth to the world? Did I get lost and end up over at Daily Kos somehow?

      1. I was going to blame the web editor for doing a shitty job, but you’re probably right that the shitty wording originally came from Feeney.

        1. It’s in the headline, and it’s in the text.

      2. The problem isn’t that priests are molesting children, the problem is that the children are coming forward.

        1. Yeah, the former Bishops of Boston and Los Angeles understand.

    3. If the US government isn’t doing anything wrong, it shouldn’t be ashamed of others finding out about it.

      1. That’s right.

        If the government has nothing to hide, then they shouldn’t be worried about us searching them.

  2. What about asylum for Snowden in Germany? As pissed off as they are, and as familiar with the perils of a police state, you’d think that would be Choice #1.

    1. Um remember all those US military bases in Germany?

      1. Why are they still there?

        1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..in_Germany

          Also my point is more that I don’t think Germany is in much of a position to oppose the US on this, even if Merkel wanted to.

          1. I know they were there, it was a rhetorical question about why we’re spending so much money keeping troops in Germany. Let the EU pay to defend itself if they think they’re in danger.

            1. Threatening to close those bases is one way we have leverage on Germany. Those bases are a huge source of income – land rental, jobs, etc.

              1. There is also the fact that current German state was created at the behest of the US, UK and French occupation authorities. Some folks on HnR claim that the Germans had to sign off some secret agreements with the occupying powers. If true that would the US some leverage over Germany.

                1. How does that even make sense? If the treaties are secret, what’s the worst that could happen if one side breaks them? Can’t exactly haul Germany before the UN for violating the terms of a treaty no one knew about.

                  1. Wouldn’t the Senate have needed to ratify such a treaty?

                    1. Well, the Secret Senate, yeah.

        2. “Freedom”

  3. I don’t understand, isn’t this confirming something that all of them should have been assuming anyway? I’ve been repeatedly assured that it’s really no big deal.

    1. Yes, of course they (the leaders of other countries) either knew or should have suspected this. It’s another thing to have proof; makes those leaders look bad at home. So, what Fist said above about leverage.

  4. I doubt it will effect it. The deal will go through as long as those who in charge get what they want.

    The bureaucrats get another way to manipulate the economy

    The big financial institutions get to jump back and forth across borders whenever its convenient

    The politicians get more power and/or get paid off

    1. Seriously. Why on earth does a trade deal need “provisions to fund French movies.” The world does not need more movies about the protagonist’s life unraveling, ending with the him watching a sunset with one other character in alienated silence.

      1. The world doesn’t need them, otherwise there’d be a market for them. The French “need” them for reasons of national pride.

        1. I will accept this provision provided they force Fran?ois Ozon to make more completely deranged cinema like Sitcom

      2. But it does need more Luc Besson parkour action movies. Possibly about people held captive by a sinister agent and turned against their will into the ultimate living weapon.

  5. In other words, Obama’s much-vaunted support in Europe doesn’t mean squat when it comes to the one concrete benefit that his influence might have acquired for US policy.

    But don’t worry, people love Obama more than Bush and that is helping the US’ foreign policy… somehow.

  6. is it just me or is all this thong-knotting from the EU a bit much? I’m sure that not a one of its member nations spies on us or any of the others. Not a one.

    Yes, it’s embarrassing to have it come out but, come on; we’re talking a low-info culture. More people know about it from teh EU folks bitching than knew before.

    1. I think they wanted to back out of it without losing face.

  7. In other news, some women are batshit crazy. Not libertarian women, of course…

    The Creative Conflict Resolution study found that 68% of men preferred to say, “yes dear” or “uh huh” instead of sharing their true feelings to please their quarreling mate. The Arizona study found that girlfriends and wives are not fooled by this capitulation and that this “no mas” defense actually antagonizes and frustrates these women, who then have a lower opinion of the relationship because there is no real satisfactory resolution of the conflict.


    1. So, not escalating the conflict is a loss?

    2. I thought it was compromise that leaves everyone unsatisfied. Capitulation is a raw deal for men.

    3. That’s why you go nuclear in every in every disagreement. Just tell her she’s acting like her mother. But, like, a fatter version of her mother.

      1. You never go full-retard, Hugh!

      2. A fatter, poorer-cooking version of her mother.

        1. i left out “less sexually gratifying”

    4. So much for the “You can be right or you can be happy” rule when dealing with women.

      1. Oh no, you don’t get right. Might as well try for happy.

    5. actually antagonizes and frustrates these women

      Duh, that’s why we do it.

      1. Shhh. Goddammit.

    6. You have to agree with enthusiasm and sincerity. “yes, dear” or “uh huh” just says you aren’t interested in continuing the argument. It’s like waving a red flag in the face of a bull. She must have total victory.

      1. Oh, this must be that “enthusiastic consent” thing they’re always going on about.

    7. I think words like compromise, sharing, amicable, etc. really just mean ‘do it my way or else’ when it comes to women.

      If I were 25 again I’d just bide my time, building a career and savings, playing video games and working out to my heart’s content and then when I turned 40 swoop in and collect the wreckage that these women’s lives will be.

      1. words like compromise, sharing, amicable, etc. really just mean ‘do it my way or else’ when it comes to women just about everyone.

      2. If I had to do it again I would not have shunned the ugly girls. The pussy I missed for being too picky could fill a few volumes. One of whom is pretty well renown in literary circles, great little firecracker body, but the face of Curtis Armstrong on a female.

        1. This. I would also not date anyone in college. Terrible idea.

      3. If I were 25 again I’d just bide my time, building a career and savings, playing video games and working out to my heart’s content and then when I turned 40 swoop in and collect the wreckage that these women’s lives will be.

        Newsletter. Subscription.

      4. Get Auric and the other young’uns. Its too late for me. I only made it to 33 having random flings and building a career and savings.

  8. Aren’t the Germans accustomed to the U.S. eavesdropping?

    I keed, I keed.

    1. It would have been funnier if you had linked to footage of the Dresden firebombing. Now that was droppin’ some eaves on muthafukkas.

  9. Yes, yes, because EU member nations would never spy on us. Jamais!

  10. This is especially true in Germany, where the protection of private correspondence is written into its constitution.

    How quaint. I wonder if it reads something like “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

    1. In the U.S., if it isn’t illegal, it’s legal. In Germany, if it isn’t legal, it’s illegal.

      Sometimes I envy them.

      In their system, there would have to be a law explicitly stating that the government can track our phone calls–or doing so would be illegal.

      1. In the U.S., if it isn’t illegal, it’s legal

        Provided you get permission first.

        1. And all appropriate permits, certificates, licenses and bonds.

        2. Yeah, I guess that’s just the way it used to be.

  11. The European Union is an Article 51 UN Treaty……like NATO and the rest of the Global Entities entangling the world……putting its signatories under the control of the UN Security Council.

    The Globalist and Socialist history and purposeful actions of the creators and creations of the Globalists do not paint a good picture for sovereignty and free markets…..only the opposite picture is clear. Managed, regulated and regimented “trade” of goods and services….and international AND national socialist legality and goals reached before during and after the “trade”…

    Like the information that Manning and Snowdon shared with the world some good has come out of this….hopefully slowing down the march to Regional Socialist World Governance embodied by the European Union and the Corporatist United States….

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