According to a biographical note Gradner was "was the European Commission’s Spokesman for Trade and EU foreign policy with the United States, China and Japan" between 1997 and 1999. 
"He handled several high-profile transatlantic trade disputes including bananas, hormone-treated meat, and the major row over tax breaks to US companies. Nigel has also been Communications Director for the Labour Party in the European Parliament, where he directed media relations for the UK's 29 Labour MEPs. Nigel began his career as a BBC political journalist specialising in European affairs. He worked on several landmark documentary series and news programmes, including the BBC’s flagship politics programme On The Record and Europe Now," his biogrpahical note states.