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NFTC, USA*Engage Welcome Supreme Courtís Decision in Major Alien Tort Statute Case
Date: 4/17/2013
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, (202) 822-9491

Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum case. NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch released the following statement.

"We welcome the Supreme Court's ruling in the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum case, which holds that the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) does not apply to conduct occurring outside the borders of the United States.

"While the Court was silent on the issue of corporate liability, the decision rules out claims in U.S. federal courts against multinational companies for aiding and abetting human rights abuses by governments of countries in which they have operations.

"The Court also provided much-needed clarity on the issue of extraterritoriality, concluding that ‘nothing in the text of the statute suggests that Congress intended causes of action recognized under it to have extraterritorial reach' and ‘there is no indication that the ATS was passed to make the United States a uniquely hospitable forum for the enforcement of international norms.'

"The Court's decision is a win for companies' ability to conduct business globally and critical to other pending ATS cases."

In October and February 2012, the NFTC filed two amicus briefs with the Supreme Court in support of the defendant in
Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.

To read the Court's decision, click

About USA*Engage
USA*Engage ( is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (, USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy worldwide.

About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for Nearly A Century- The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules- based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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