Some folks in Europe — farmers, consumer groups, enviros, privacy advocates and others — have strongly opposed the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that’s now being negotiated.
So the U.S. embassy in Berlin is enlisting treaty-supporting Germans — even offering cold, hard cash.
“Are you pro-TTIP and angry at the negative coverage it’s been getting? Send us your ideas and we’ll support you!” the embassy, or “Botschaft,” said in a tweet in German on Friday:
That’s right, the embassy’s public affairs section has launched project “T-TIP: Get Informed! Get Involved.” The section is “soliciting proposals” and offering grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 to German non-profits, “non-governmental organizations, think tanks and academic institutions” to get out the real “facts and figures” and to “combat misinformation.”
The embassy suggests things like “short documentaries on T-TIP” or an “Expert Speaker Tour with proposed names for travel (including per diem and honoraria).” You might want to set up a “T-TIP conference. . . that can be live-streamed” or “digital posters in German” or set up a “website devoted to T-TIP.”
The initial reader tweets included a couple who were supportive, some who thought the tweet was a joke and several negative ones, such as: “Your PR for TTIP won’t save this project, no matter how much money you pay” from Maritta Strasser and a rather caustic one from “Unimpeachable,” who tweeted: “TTIP cancels out democracy! This is an attack on all mankind and the environment.”