A new lex mercatoria is emerging in the unification of the law of international trade. In analyzing this development, this Article will emphasize two points. First, international contracts are based essentially on national law, a feature of which is the lack of state involvement resulting in party autonomy. A party’s freedom to contract is a uniformly recognized principle of contract law. Second, in recent times — particularly following World War II — a wide range of state governmental regulations have appeared which restrict parties’ freedom to contract. Such restrictions include economic regulations promulgated by the modern state, plus considerable legislation intended to protect the rights of economically weaker parties such as consumers and employees.