Amending the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 to Better Accommodate Non-Market Economies

The purpose of this Note is to demonstrate the need for an amendment to the 1976 Act, in addition to those presently under consideration, which recognizes the political and economic realities of the modem world. The following discussion focuses on the FSIA and its inability to accommodate the ideology of non-market economies in making immunity determinations. After examining the FSIA and the development of foreign sovereign immunity in general, the discussion turns to an analysis of the differences between capitalist, or free market societies, and socialist/communist, or non-market systems. Sections IV and V analyze two areas where the failure of the Act is especially pronounced-the definition of an “agency or instrumentality of a foreign state” and the commercial activity exception to foreign sovereign immunity. Each section includes a proposal that would improve the operation of the FSIA with respect to non-market economies without sacrificing its performance in the case of free market systems.