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International Trade Law

International trade law does not have a specific area or governing body but it deals with the varied laws and customs of different nations that interact between businesses and organizations. International law is a fabric of international customs agreements treaties accords  and charters. Since there is no enforcing body which governs international trade law the power of enforcement only exists when there is a mutual agreement between parties.

There are three main legal principles which are recognized in international trade law. They are not enforced, but they are based on reciprocity courtesy and respect. 

The first is the principle of comity.  When nations share public policy ideas one of the nations will submit to the laws of the other nation.  The active state doctrine is where one nation respects the sovereignty of another nation in its own territory. One nation dissuades it’s courts from deciding cases that would interfere with another country’s foreign policy.  The doctrine of sovereign immunity deals with actions that are brought in the court of a nation against another foreign nation and prevents the sovereign state from being tried in court without its consent. In the United States this doctrine is covered under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act.

International law and international trade law can be broken down into both public and private spheres. Public international trade law covers customs, laws, and rules that oversee the conduct between two nations and their citizens. For instance the United Nations deals primarily with public international law and international trade law. 

The World Trade Organization which was a established in 1994 is a large international organization that creates norms and rules for international trade. There are five main principles which govern the World Trade Organization including non-discrimination, reciprocity, enforceable agreement, transparency, and safety.

The World Trade Organization has taken on the subject of intellectual property rights which includes copyrights trademarks and patents.  When intellectual property disputes arise, the World Trade Organization WTO has a system for mediation  and attempts to govern international trade Law.
International Trade Law

International law is governed by norms and informal agreements and reciprocity between nation states because there is not an over aching entity with real enforcement power between two countries competing interests.