Will AFTA Mean More Legal English Terms for EU Lawyers?

 In Brexit, Legal English

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump was an entertaining character whilst he was in the White House. Now he’s been replaced, however, some people are calling for his successors to reconsider the Atlantic Free Trade Agreement that was proposed in 2018.

To be fair, nobody’s quite sure why Trump squashed the agreement in the first place. It seemed to be a political tit-for-tat that ended badly for the EU. His supporters will argue Trump was trying to reinvigorate manufacturing and commerce on home soil.

The Biden Administration, it is hoped, will have other plans. Following the success of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU, a renegotiated trade deal with the US makes sense.

But will the call for an Atlantic FTA between the EU and North America amplify the need for new legal professionals in Austria to learn a broader scope of legal English – this time incorporating the terminology of the USA?


What is the AFTA proposal?

Even if you’re well-versed in legal English, the Atlantic Free Trade Agreement is going to cause some confusion. It’s not the same as the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement known as TAFTA – even though that Free Trade Agreement is between the EU and US.

And although it has the same initials and the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, it shouldn’t be confused with the trade bloc between the nations of Southeast Asia and Australia.

If it does go ahead, AFTA will provide trade benefits for member nations in the European Economic Area (EEA) together with Switzerland and any Balkan countries that show an interest.

At this point, it’s difficult to understand what the difference will be between AFTA and TAFTA. Zero tariffs on as many goods as possible are being floated. Broad commitments on the free movement of goods will also be expected – much like the trade routes between EU members.

Negotiations from the EU side are being led by the former Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel. I hope his legal English is good. Biden appears to be suffering from dementia. And people thought Trump was a bumbling fool.

There may be more to the delay, than meets the eye, however. Without reading too much into this (I am), an Atlantic FTA could pave the way for Britain to secure a solid trade deal with its EU neighbours – coming in through the backdoor.


Will AFTA Mean More Legal English for EU Lawyers? 

With a potential $1 trillion on the table in a two-way trade of goods and services, there’s plenty of incentives for the United States to strike a sweet deal with the EU.

Whether that will mean EU lawyers need to brush up on their legal English remains to be seen. The aforementioned CETA probably shares a similar language with the US, although given Canada is a combination of the French and English legal systems, some of the terminologies may differ.

If you’re practising or studying law in Vienna and need help with your legal English, our experienced native English tutors can customise private lessons to meet your needs. Get in touch today and ask how our Legal English coaching can help make your job easier.

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