International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

Exploring trade tools to promote human rights


Our work seeks to identify tools that the U.S. government may have within its existing trade framework to support the protection and advancement of human rights in the context of business operations. 

The United States is the world’s second largest trading nation and serves as the primary trading partner of more than 30 countries. U.S. trade policy, therefore, may have sizeable impacts on the reciprocal country and the corporate entities that operate there. This, in turn, gives the U.S. government unique and significant leverage to promote better respect for human rights throughout business operations taking place in countries that the United States trades with. ICAR's project explores these leverages within the following mechanisms: sanctions, import control, and trade preference programs.