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Commercial Law Development Program

Stephen Gardner
Chief Counsel
Tel: 202-482-2400
Fax: 202-482-0006


Commercial Law Development Program


CLDP improves the legal environment for business worldwide. Established in 1992, CLDP is a division of the US Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel that strives to achieve US foreign policy goals in developing and post-conflict countries through commercial legal reforms. CLDP’s unique government-to-government technical assistance draws upon highly-experienced regulators, judges, policymakers, business leaders and attorneys from both the public and private sectors to deliver results that make meaningful and lasting changes to the legal and judicial environments of host countries.

Office Description

CLDP's mission is to improve the legal environment for doing business in developing and transitional countries around the globe and thereby foster greater political stability and economic opportunity for local entrepreneurs and U.S. companies alike. CLDP serves as a resource for federal agencies, US businesses, foreign governments and foreign businesses by organizing seminars, workshops, and conferences and by providing training consultations in the US and other countries for foreign delegations. CLDP attorneys, resident advisors, program specialists and administrative personnel are multicultural and have expertise in international business, commercial law, trade relations and development assistance. When designing and implementing programs, CLDP also draws on expertise from various US Government agencies, multilateral and international organizations, educational institutions and the private sector.

Key areas of expertise:

  • Trade & Customs Law Reform
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Commercial Rule of Law
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transparency and Governance