US secrecy in trade, terror pacts riles EU watchdog

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's transparency watchdog says a clash of cultures on secrecy and access to documents is undermining trust in trade talks and anti-terror data exchanges with the United States.

The trade talks, officially called Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, touch on most aspects of commerce, from farming to health care to cosmetics. But the EU's Ombudsman is concerned that the opaque way the negotiations are being conducted deprives people of important information about processes that affect their daily lives.

U.S. secrecy over a terror financing agreement has also blocked the functioning of the EU's institutions by an outside country for the first time, Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly says.

She told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday: "There is a little clash of cultures."