Das Freihandelsabkommen mit den USA

An dieser Stelle finden Sie oft wirtschaftspolitisches Hintergrundwissen. Das geplante Freihandelsabkommen mit den USA gehört zu den aktuellen Themen, die Ihnen im „Bigtalk“ mit amerikanischen Geschäftspartnern weiterhelfen können. Zumal wir Ihnen einen Teil dieser Infos auf Englisch geben.

Es geht hier also um Wortschatztraining, gleichzeitig um wirtschaftliches „background knowledge“. Und auch um die Sicht der internationalen Partner auf uns Deutsche, aber dazu später.

Beginnen wir doch gleich mit einer kleinen Herausforderung.

Exercise: Bitte übersetzen Sie

Und bitte seien Sie wie immer so dicht am Text wie nötig und so frei wie möglich, damit ein guter deutscher Text entsteht.
“The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the name of a trade agreement that is being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. The negotiations aim at removing trade barriers (tariffs, unnecessary regulations, restrictions on investment etc.) in a wide range of economic sectors so as to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US. The EU and US also want to make it easier for their companies to invest in each other´s economy. …
The actual talks will probably last a couple of years. After that, the agreement will have to be approved on the EU side by the European Parliament and all the EU Member States and for the Americans by the US Congress. We would like to see as many tariffs and other barriers to trade as possible removed the moment the agreement is approved and becomes law. The quicker this happens, the sooner we can all start reaping the benefits.” (http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/)

Answer key

Der Stand der Dinge

Since July 2013 the European Union and the United States of America have been working on the biggest commercial treaty ever. But what exactly is the treaty about? And when will we all start to benefit from it? Let us take a closer look through investigation, of course.

The iwd (Informationen aus dem Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, Ausgabe 10 vom 6.3.2014) published an article titled “German Angst” about the TTIP.

Deutsche Reaktionen

The author states that many German consumers are afraid that the planned free trade agreement between Germany and the US will change the current high quality German standards for foods and the environment for the worse.

Which leads us to the expression “German Angst”.

“German Angst“

As we have many Anglicisms in our language the British and the US Americans have some Germanisms, too. Some examples are: kindergarten, wiener, gemuetlichkeit, wirtschaftswunder.

But the combination of the words “German” and “Angst” indicates more than just the presence of a German word in a foreign language. It points to a more general connotation of these two words to a nation’s character. Which means that “Angst” appears to be a very typical German character trait.

Wikipedia – which should only be used for reliable information after careful consideration – states that the Germans are famous for their “Angst” attitude and gives some memorable examples: The cautious foreign policy after the German reunification and in the second Gulf war, management of the avian flu outbreak, banning Google Street View and the NSA affair to name two more recent issues.

Ihre Konsequenzen

It is good to be aware of this view of “the” German character when you meet international business partners because it might help you understand why somebody acts in a specific way, e.g. in a negotiation. This person might judge you – or your boss – as suffering from “German Angst”, so perhaps it would be a good idea to be more explicit in negotiations by explaining why you are acting cautiously.


Exercise: Wortschatz


Handelsabkommen Können Sie die englischen und deutschen Begriffe richtig verbinden? Und anschließend natürlich auch lernen, aber das versteht sich ja von selbst.

Handelsabkommen admission procedure
verhandeln clause
Welthandel taxed goods
Klausel negotiate
Zoll global trade
Handelshemmnis  commercial treaty/trade agreement
versteuerte Waren trade obstruction
Zulassungsverfahren customs duty
Rechtsvorschrift statutory provision
Freihandelsabkommen     free trade agreement
Answer key

Kündigung und „Restlaufzeit“
Frau H. G. aus K. schreibt: „Ich habe meinen Arbeitsplatz gekündigt, ohne eine neue Anstellung zu haben. Mein offizieller Kündigungsgrund war ‚die Suche nach neuen Herausforderungen‘, aber tatsächlich ist es eher so, dass mir hier die Aufstiegsmöglichkeiten fehlen und ich völlig demotiviert bin. Ich möchte zu einem internationalen Unternehmen wechseln, an einen englischsprachigen Arbeitsplatz. Wie kriege ich die restliche Arbeitszeit bei meinem jetzigen Arbeitgeber hin?“

Dear Ms G.
Let us answer this question in English, as you want to work for an English-speaking company. Thank you for your enquiry (BE)/ inquiry (AE). Your question is a very good one and demonstrates that you have a good understanding of the fundamental issues. Now you just need to turn your feelings into words.
There is a well-known saying: “The first impression counts.” It should be followed by: “The last impression lasts.”
So if you want to leave behind a good impression for your boss and colleagues, it is important to swallow your pride and don’t show your frustration and demotivation but stay fully active and friendly until your last working day at your current company. But how can you do that?

  1. It is not easy, but you should avoid negative thoughts and reactions even if you consider you are being treated unfairly since you gave (BE)/put (AE) in your notice.
  2. You should stay helpful and supportive towards your boss and co-workers and offer help within your role.
  3. You should carry on working on your tasks and finish running projects.
  4. You should document on-going projects and list any specialist knowledge for your successor.
  5. Tell your boss, your co-workers and successor that they can call you about any job-related questions after you have left.

If you do so, the lasting last impression will be good and you will leave a positive memory of yourself with everybody within the company even if there might have been some problems or issues before you gave notice. And apart from all this advice you should start looking and applying for your dream job! Good luck!

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