American Exceptionalism in Consumer Arbitration

25 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

University of Missouri School of Law

Date Written: 2013


“American exceptionalism” has been used to reference the United States’ outlier policies in various contexts, including its love for litigation. Despite Americans’ reverence for their “day in court,” their zest for contractual freedom and efficiency has prevailed to result in U.S. courts’ strict enforcement of arbitration provisions in both business-to-business (“B2B”) and business-to-consumer (“B2C”) contracts. This is exceptional because although most of the world joins the United States in generally enforcing B2B arbitration under the New York Convention, many other countries refuse or strictly limit arbitration enforcement in B2C relationships due to concerns regarding power imbalances and public enforcement of consumer protections. The resulting clash in arbitration policy has left consumers in cross-border cases uncertain whether they must abide by arbitration clauses in an increasingly global marketplace.

Keywords: contracts, arbitration, international arbitration, European Union, comparative law, consumer protection, dispute resolution, ADR, ODR, online dispute resolution, e-contracts, international law, UNCITRAL, consumer contracts

JEL Classification: K12, K40, K41, K00, K29, K20, K30, K10, K39, P45, P46, O31

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J., American Exceptionalism in Consumer Arbitration (2013). Loyola University Chicago International Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2013, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-7, Available at SSRN:

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO MO 65211
United States
573-882-5969 (Phone)

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