France: No Trade Talks With Spying US

Calls on EU to suspend free-trade zone talks until US offers more details on surveillance

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 3, 2013 8:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – France is apparently still pretty pissed about all this NSA-spying-on-EU business, and is pushing to suspend trade talks between the EU and US until the White House offers up more details on its surveillance activities. "We don't want to abandon negotiations on the free trade agreement with the US, but it seems wise to suspend them temporarily, for 15 days, as we wait for the information we have demanded," says a French government spokesperson, per the Wall Street Journal. "This week we're going to consult our European partners on this subject."

Discussions over a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone are scheduled to begin next week, and so far, the EU says they will still go ahead. Though Germany has apparently borne the brunt of NSA spying, it remains committed to the talks, though says it will find a way to bring up its privacy concerns during the negotiations. The EU's trade negotiator, the European Commission, says it also has "strong concerns" over the allegations of spying, but doesn't believe they should affect the talks.

French Foreign Trade Minister Nicole Bricq talks with European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht.   (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
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