Libre-echange: La France veut suspendre le negociations apres les revelations de Snowden (Free Trade: France wants to suspend negotiations after revelations from Snowden).
After suspicions of international espionage by the USA France is in favor of having a “temporary suspension” of the planned Free Trade negotiations between the EU and the USA. Najat Belkacem-Vallaud has not suggested that the Snowden situation will totally prevent a deal being done; its just too big a deal to pass-up.
She said after a meeting of the Council of Ministers “It does not stop the negotiations on the free trade, but in fact it seems wise to temporarily suspend, for a period of 15-days without doubt, to avoid controversy and time to obtain requested information”.
Germany, does not agree! (business as usual?)
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor supports the intended start date of 8 July for the negotiations announced today, Wednesday 3 July in Berlin. Stephan Seibert, spokesperson for Angela Merkel explained “The Commission wants to start negotiations on July 8, and in this the German Government supports it. We want this free trade agreement and we want to start negotiations now. Then France had to ask for a temporary suspension of negotiations because of suspicions of espionage weighing on the USA”.
Germany wants the deal, a deal they don’t know how will be structured. France want explanations and assurances about their privacy. Not surprising to anybody who has any insight into the French national identity. The French I can say from experience are a nation obsessed with privacy; a high ranking politician has an affair, a private matter! There are other countless examples but no need, they are a private nation.
Now, I don’t blame them on the privacy thing, I really don’t, I’m with them all the way. But… they are up against the Germans and US and I’m going to assume the UK as well, so I think the negotiations will take place and France will make the USA uncomfortable (cant say I’m too upset about that). It might be a behind closed doors sort of negotiation but they will take place, and they will take place 8 July.
For me, well I’d be more concerned about how the Chinese, Russians, Indians and Brazilians view the deal. It very much looks to me as if its a marriage of dinosaurs hoping in some way (but I don’t think they yet know how) to prop-up their respective economies. Just imagine what a BRIC countries trade deal might look like – the West should be afraid if this looks like ever coming about!