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 While the interpretation of an arbitration agreement is generally a matter of state law, see Arthur Andersen LLP v. Carlisle, 556 U. S. ___, ___ (2009) (slip op., at 6); Perry v. Thomas, 482 U. S. 483, 493, n. 9 (1987), the FAA imposes certain rules of fundamental importance, including the basic precept that arbitration “is a matter of consent, not coercion,” Volt Information Sciences, Inc. v. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior Univ., 489 U. S. 468, 479 (1989). 


In 1925, Congress enacted the United States Arbitration Act, as the FAA was formerly known, for the express purpose of making “valid and enforceable written provisions or agreements for arbitration of disputes arising out of contracts, maritime transactions, or commerce among the States or Territories or with foreign nations.” 43 Stat. 883. Reenacted and codified in 1947, see 61 Stat. 669,9 the FAA provides, in pertinent part, that a “written provision in any maritime transaction” calling for the arbitration of a controversy arising out of such transaction “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract,” 9 U. S. ...

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