“Commercial Diplomacy and the National Interest”


Commercial Diplomacy and the National Interest
by Harry W. Kopp

A joint publication of the
American Academy of Diplomacy
and the
Business Council for International Understanding

The book’s opening sentence—”Security and prosperity are the two great goals of American foreign policy, and they are closely linked”—accurately identifies the two key underpinnings of our policy. Our increasingly interconnected world presents both growing commercial competition and growing economic opportunity for the United States; we have to take every opportunity to strengthen our commercial diplomacy, drawing on examples of what has worked.
— Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State

American companies operating overseas have one great advantage—the smart, vigorous commercial diplomacy carried out by American embassies and foreign commercial officers around the world.
— Donald L. Evans, Secretary of Commerce

This book is a must-read for companies doing business overseas and the state entities that support them. In this increasingly competitive global atmosphere, we need to bring to bear all the tools we can to help our companies prosper. As governor of a state doing tremendous business overseas, I highly recommend this book.
— Frank H. Murkowski, Governor of Alaska
Chairman of the Council of State Governments

* * * * *

This short and lively book lays out the why and the how of promoting US business abroad. America’s place in the world depends more than is usually acknowledged on the vigor and global reach of American business.

The United States is the world’s leading exporter, the world’s leading importer, and the world’s primary source and destination of funds for foreign investment. Our position as the best place in the world to do business—the most reliable in which to buy, the most lucrative in which to sell, and the safest and surest in which to invest or to raise capital—is a cause, not an effect, of American global leadership. Protecting and expanding the US role as the world’s supplier and customer of choice for goods, services, ideas, capital and entrepreneurial energy should be a foreign policy objective second only to securing the homeland.

Such goals need day-to-day attention. Case histories dealing with market access, investor rights, protection of intellectual property, corrupt practices, contract sanctity, sanctions, security and other trade and investment issues show how diplomacy works with business to achieve commercial objectives that advance national interests. These stories, based largely on interviews with the business leaders and diplomats who took part in the events they describe, illuminate the best practices that lead to success and point up the lessons learned from failures.

Practitioners in business and government, and those interested in how the two relate to each other in international affairs, will benefit from this brisk, persuasive analysis.

This book can be ordered directly from the Business Council for International Understanding. Please call Ginelle K. Baugh at (212) 490-0460 or via email at [email protected]. Bulk discounts are available.

ISBN: 0-9679108-1-1
published June 2004

For an inside look at the real work of U.S. diplomacy in over 50 countries, check out Inside a Inside a U.S. Embassy, published by the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).