Globalization: Numerous Federal Activities Complement U.S. Business's Global Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts

GAO-05-744 Published: Aug 08, 2005. Publicly Released: Sep 07, 2005.
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The trend toward globalization has intensified the debate about the proper role of business and government in global "corporate social responsibility" (CSR),which involves business efforts to address the social and environmental concerns associated with business operations. The growth in global trade and the dramatic increase in foreign direct investment in developing countries raise questions regarding CSR-related issues such as labor, environment, and human rights. U.S. firms with operations in many countries employ millions of foreign workers and conduct a range of CSR activities to address these issues. However, there is controversy as to the proper government role. GAO describes (1) federal agency policies and programs relating to global CSR and (2) different perspectives regarding the appropriate U.S. government role and views on the impact of current federal activities on corporate global CSR efforts.

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