Reconciling National Interests in the Regulation of International Business

Marcuss, Stanley J., Butland, Dale P. | January 1, 1979

In an increasingly integrated world where political and economic issues are deeply intertwined, the regulation of international business activity raises complex problems in international law. The existence of the multinational corporation, which is possessed of multiple identities and therefore subject to the jurisdiction of both “home” nations, where it is headquartered, and “host” nations, where its subsidiaries are located, makes the potentiality of jurisdictional disputes among nations particularly acute. While attempts to apply United States law to American foreign subsidiaries virtually ensures conflicts among jurisdictions, excusing subsidiaries from compliance with domestic law could seriously undermine comprehensive regulatory activity. It could also provide a substantial incentive for companies to shift operations abroad so as to escape U.S. jurisdiction altogether.