Now that international trade negotiations extend into 2012 – have fun with an American Trade Negotiator’s Glossary: What they said and what they really meant (Source: Anonymous, of course)

“An ambitious proposal”
(It is unlikely to get any support)

“An innovative proposal”
(This one really is out of the trees)

“This paper is unbalanced.”
(It does not contain any of our views.)

“This proposal strikes a good balance.”
(Our interests are completely safeguarded.)

“I should like to make some brief comments.”
(You have time for a cup of coffee.)

“We will be making detailed comments at a later stage.”
(Expect that your posting will be over before you hear from us.)

“This paper contains some interesting features.”
(I am going to give you some face-saving reasons why it should be withdrawn.)

“The paper will provide useful background to our discussions.”
(I haven’t read it.)

“We need transparency in the process.”
(I am worried that I won’t be included in the back-room negotiations.)

“English is not my mother tongue.”
(I am about to give you a lecture on a fine point of syntax.)

“The delegate of… spoke eloquently on this subject.”
(I haven’t the faintest idea what he or she means.)

“A comprehensive paper”
(It’s over two pages in length and seems to have an awful lot of headings.)

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