The Laurel–Langley Agreement was a trade agreement signed in 1955 between the United States and its former colony the Philippines. It expired in 1974. It was an amendment to the Bell Trade Act, which gave full parity rights to American citizens and businesses. Under this agreement, American citizens and businesses were able to own 100 percent of companies in any area of the economy. Lindio-McGovern argues that this served American interests while exacerbating poverty within the Philippines, and also explains why U.S. corporations control most foreign investments in the Philippines.