“Commercial diplomacy involves business and government overseas in cooperative efforts to achieve commercial objectives that advance national interests.”
Harry Kopp, Commercial Diplomacy and the National Interest
Throughout history, nations have sought to advance their economic and commercial interests by negotiating trade agreements, lending support to their own commercial entities and fostering an environment where national businesses and entrepreneurs can succeed in the international marketplace.
Virtually since its inception, the United States has vigorously asserted the business interests of its citizens. From the Treaty of Tripoli, which sought to establish U.S. commercial rights in North Africa, to later well-known U.S. policies such as the Monroe Doctrine in the Western Hemisphere and the Open Door policy toward China, United States diplomacy has always had commercial motives at its core.
Since the end of the Second World War, when the Bretton Woods agreements established the commercial and financial instrumentalities at the heart of the international trading system (e.g., the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, which later became the World Trade Organization, or WTO), the United States has taken an active lead in creating and supporting international arrangements that further its specific and broader interests.
Kopp, Harry W. Commercial Diplomacy and the National Interest. New York, NY: American Academy of Diplomacy; Business Council for International Understanding, 2004.