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Textual methods include a large number of finding aid that allow us to gain new knowledge about trade agreements. For example, textual similarity measures are able to identify fine-grained differences in contract design. So-called dimensionality reduction techniques, which compress textual information contained in a text into a number of abstract variables, can help predict the impact of trade agreements more accurately than the measures available so far. Finally, in the field of commercial law, textual similarity can shed new light on the normative processes of convergence. Investment chapters in SAAs, for example, are generally seen as a contribution to the convergence of trade and investment rights, but, as our analysis shows, the two areas could also fragment. However, modern calculation methods require the existence of machine-readable texts. .