Legal Subjects in the Scope of International Trade

International trade law is part of international law. The existence of the subject in international trade law is also not much different from the subject in international law. The subject of international trade law is the holder of rights and obligations who have the capacity for international trade law.

The subject of international trade law can be broken down into:

  • Country,
  • International organization,
  • Multinational industry, and
  • Person.
  • Country

The main subject of international trade law is the country.

This is due to the fact that many domestic policies dominate in making international trade ties.

As the main legal subject in international trade, the state performs two purposes, namely public use and private use.

Public use applies when the state carries out its position as a public institution that carries out public actions.

For example, establishing policies or laws and regulations related to international trade and making trade agreements between countries.

Meanwhile, private use can be carried out if the state carries out private legal actions, such as making agreements with private legal subjects.

International trade organization

International organizations have a position in formulating regulations related to international trade law.

An international trade organization is a collection of countries established by conventions of countries in an international agreement.

This international organization plays a significant role in shaping and improving international trade arrangements.

Basically, international organizations in the field of international trade can be classified into 2, namely:

International organizations that specifically have the authority to control certain international trade ties, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), ASEAN Free Trade Zone (AFTA), and others.

An international organization that has the competence to control international trade activities and other fields. For example, organizations located within the United Nations system, such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Multinational industry

Multinational industry is a subject of international trade law that has a special role.

For UNCTAD, multinational industry is an industry that carries out commercial activities and other economic activities in various other countries.

There is also the position of multinational industry as the subject of international trade law, which is to carry out economic and trade activities widely, such as in carrying out direct export-import activities.

This activity currently dominates international trade activities.


The position of people in international trade is currently facing very rapid growth.

In the past, international trade could only be attempted by a state or multinational industry. However, in the current era of technological globalization, people can also take a direct position.

For example, carrying out international trade transactions through the marketplace or making trade cooperation agreements with people from other countries.

Even so, people as subjects of international trade law have limitations in carrying out international trade activities.

In every trade transaction activity, people must rely on legal procedures and provisions set by the country or international organizations.