EU Steps up PR Campaign to Overcome U.S. Trade Deal Hostility

In early 2013, President Barack Obama's call for a U.S.-EU trade deal generated such optimism in Europe that the graffiti "NO TAFTA, NO TTIP" scrawled under a bridge near the EU headquarters in Brussels was an isolated message of dissent. More than two years on, with the graffiti still there, European officials are ruing their failure to spot early signs of opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership also known unofficially as the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. The bureaucrats are finally fighting back in a public relations battle against outspoken activists adept at sound bites, branding and social media. Using some of the tools employed by anti-trade campaigners, the European Commission, which is negotiating with the United States for a deal which may still be a year off, has taken the unusual step of launching video clips on YouTube. It has also published leaflets, fact sheets and "myth-busting" brochures to counter what it says are misconceptions about TTIP.