National Foreign Trade Council

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The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) was established in 1914 by a group of American companies "that supported an open world trading system." Today they serve more than 300 companies in advancing global commerce by developing positions on key issues and then advocating policies to Congress and the Executive Branch. The NFTC focuses on advancing open markets around the world by supporting bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. They oppose protectionist legislation, and they are major advocates for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Involvement in attempt to limit human rights lawsuits by foreigners

In June 2004, the National Foreign Trade Council was involved in a partially successful Supreme Court attempt to limit the ability of foreigners to bring lawsuits in the U.S. for alleged human rights abuses and violations of international law. The court ruled that the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 could not be used to seek damages in the case of a Mexican doctor who was kidnapped by another Mexican citizen on behalf of the DEA, and brought to the United States to be tried for the torture and killing of a DEA agent. The doctor was acquitted, and sought damages under the 1789 Act.

According to a Washington Times article: "Human rights, environmental and labor groups have used the act to sue governments, companies and individuals. Business groups, facing a slew of cases against companies that operated in apartheid-era South Africa, in Burma, in Sudan and in other nations, said the decision came as a relief. 'I don't think it shuts the door as tightly as we would have liked to see it shut. But the decision does raise the bar for ever finding affirmatively,' said Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a business group that submitted a 'friend of the court' brief in the case." [1]

Member Companies Listed on Board of Directors


Washington DC

New York

U.S. South Africa Business Council

Contact Information

1625 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20006
Phone: (202)887-0278

2 West 45th Street, Suite 1602
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212)399-7128

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