It’s a political dilemma that just won’t go away.
So Sen. Chris Murphy addressed the NSA spying scandal directly last week where it may have hit the hardest – in Germany.
The nation is upset, after the Edward Snowden leaks revealed the United States was spying on German emails, web searches and even tapping the cell phone of the German Chancellor.
Murphy says rebuilding trust is key for the U.S. and can even affect Connecticut.
Many Germans see the scandal as a betrayal of trust after the recent revelation that the U.S. National Security Agency was spying on their nation.
It prompted a U.S. Congressional delegation to visit Berlin last week, trying to mend ties.
Murphy spent several days in Berlin and then Brussels with Representative Gregory Meeks.
“I went to Europe to try to answer concerns about these surveillance accusations and try to repair the relationship because for Connecticut it matters. Forty percent of our exports go to Europe and a free-trade agreement with the European Union that’s being negotiated right now could mean big business for our state”, said Murphy, one of two Congressman who represent the State of Connecticut.
Murphy says that with more than 50 German-based companies in Connecticut, he wants to see changes from the federal level to make sure renewed trust, leads to mutual economic viability.
“Germany is furious that it was revealed that we had allegedly been tapping the cell phone of their chancellor, Angela Merkel, and frankly, we shouldn’t have. Germany is an ally, and frankly it should be off limits to listen in on the phone conversations of our allies’ leaders”, said Murphy.
For German companies located in Connecticut, like “Pero”, it’s not only important to have well-oiled machines on the floor, but to also have a smooth working relationship between the U.S. and Germany.
Christ Schlichting, is general manager of the Pero, an advanced metal cleaning systems company located in Windsor, Connecticut.
He says the impact of transatlantic relations is not lost on his business.
“Germany and the United States both have technology based economies”, said Schlichting.
The same is understood at Connecticut’s Kampf Machinery Corporation, also located in North-Central Connecticut.
“As their technology grows and we’re strong in technology in New England, we need to have close ties to them”, said Kampf Sales Manager, James Gatcomb.
While America may have pushed the wrong buttons, Senator Murphy is hopeful that the resident changes course to reestablish a once solid level of trust between Germany and the United States of America.
“I walked away from the trip understanding a little bit more about how hurt they are by these surveillance accusations and some of the steps we can take to try to repair the relationship. It’s an important relationship from a security standpoint and from an economic standpoint.”
Murphy addressed skeptics by saying that he knows this might look like “window dressing” but that the President is sincere about making changes.