U.S. Government Assistance in International Commercial Disputes
The assistance of the Department of State and embassies abroad to U.S. persons* involved in commercial disputes is generally confined to consular services aimed at helping an investor navigate the host country legal system. For example:
- Providing a list of local attorneys who have expressed an interest in representing United States citizens/nationals;
- Sharing relevant general information about the judicial system and dispute resolution procedures in the host country; and
- Providing basic information about how to contact host government officials that may have responsibility or information concerning their claims.
Please be aware that the United States government cannot provide legal advice or recommend any specific course of action to United States investors involved in commercial disputes.
Commercial or investment disputes involving foreign governments can be highly complex. Investors should consult with private legal counsel to determine what remedies may be available, including remedies under local law or under relevant provisions of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) or free trade agreement. A list of Bilateral Investment Treaties in force is available on our Bilateral Investment Treaties and Related Agreements page.
Investors should consult with OIA or the U.S. Embassy or Mission to ascertain what State Department assistance might be appropriate.
Information on other agreements covering investment disputes, and on the espousal of claims by the U.S. Government, can be found in the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for International Claims and Investment Disputes (L/CID).
*This term applies to a U.S. citizen or corporation, partnership, or association at least 50-percent beneficially owned by the United States citizen(s)