To determine whether a treaty creates a cause of action, we look to its text. See United States v. Alvarez-Machain, 504 U.S. 655, 663 (1992) (“In construing a treaty, as in construing a statute, we first look to its terms to determine its meaning.”). The Treaty of Amity, like other treaties of its kind, is self-executing. See Medellín v. Texas, 128 S. Ct. 1346, 1365–66 (2008); Blanco v. United States, 775 F.2d 53, 60 (2d Cir. 1985) (Friendly, J.); CURTIS A. BRADLEY & JACK L.GOLDSMITH, FOREIGN RELATIONS LAW 379 (2d ed. 2006) (“[C]ourts commonly assume that certain types of bilateral treaties, such as . . . Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation (FCN) treaties, are self-executing.”). As such, it “operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provision,” Foster v. Neilson, 27 U.S. (2 Pet.) 253, 314 (1829) (Marshall, C.J.), and its text is “the supreme Law of the Land,” U.S. CONST. art. VI, cl. 2, on par with that of a statute, Whitney v. Robertson, 124 U.S. 190, 194 (1888).
That the Treaty of Amity is self-executing begins but does not end our search for a treaty-based cause of action, because “[w]hether a treaty is self-executing is a question distinct from whether the treaty creates private rights or remedies.” RESTATEMENT (THIRD) OF FOREIGN RELATIONS LAW OF THE UNITED STATES § 111 cmt. h (1986) [hereinafter RESTATEMENT]; accord Renkel v. United States, 456 F.3d 640, 643 n.3 (6th Cir. 2006); United States v. Li, 206 F.3d 56, 67 (1st Cir. 2000) (en banc) (Selya & Boudin, JJ., concurring). “Even when treaties are self-executing in the sense that they create federal law, the background presumption is that ‘[i]nternational agreements, even those directly benefiting private persons, generally do not create private rights or provide for a private cause of action in domestic courts.’ ” Medellín, 128 S. Ct. at 1357 n.3 (quoting RESTATEMENT, supra, § 907 cmt. a).