"The U.S. economy has grown increasingly interconnected with other economies around the world, a phenomenon often referred to as globalization. As U.S. businesses expand globally, however, various groups across the social and economic spectrum have expressed their concerns over the economic, social, and political impact of this activity. Over the past 20 years, multinational corporations and nations have adopted voluntary, legally enforceable, and industry-specific codes of conduct, often referred to broadly as corporate social responsibility (CSR), to address many of these concerns. Recent events, primarily the 2008-2009 financial crisis and related work by major international organizations, spurred Congress and governments in Europe to increase their regulation of financial firms. Indeed, the growing presence and influence of multinational corporations in the production of goods and services and in international trade through value chains has prodded governments to adopt measures that enhance the benefits of such activities through codes of conduct. Congress will continue playing a pivotal role in addressing the various issues regarding internationally applied corporate codes of conduct."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20803