Posted at 2:20 PM
Today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews delivered opening remarks at the launch event for the U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (NAP RBC). The NAP RBC promotes and incentivizes responsible business conduct overseas by pushing for higher standards and a more level playing field globally, and strengthening public-private coordination to help U.S. companies attain their responsible conduct goals in a variety of environments around the world.
During his remarks, Deputy Secretary Andrews underscored U.S. companies’ leadership in responsible business conduct and wide recognition for their commitment to promoting human rights, upholding the rule of law, engaging in fair play, and strengthening local communities through long-term investments and corporate social responsibility programs.
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Thank you, Wally, for that kind introduction. It is an honor to be here for the launch of the National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct. Before I begin, I would like to thank each of you here today – from civil society, the private sector, and the U.S. government – who contributed to this plan and are committed to advancing responsible business conduct.
During my time as Deputy Secretary of Commerce, I have traveled to 36 countries. We have worked to strengthen U.S. economic and commercial partnerships, expand trade and investment, and help American companies capitalize on international business opportunities.
Everywhere I’ve visited – from China to Ukraine to Saudi Arabia – there is always one thing that is constant: U.S. products, services, and investments are highly sought after by foreign governments and citizens. The reason for this is clear: U.S. companies are global leaders in responsible business conduct. They are widely recognized for their commitment to promoting human rights, upholding the rule of law, engaging in fair play, and strengthening local communities through long-term investments and corporate social responsibility programs.
The National Action Plan being released today is an excellent tool to further the shared commitment of government and the private sector to promoting responsible business conduct. This plan – which highlights new and existing programs and initiatives that advance responsible business conduct – is intended to serve as a resource for U.S. companies operating overseas.
At times, we know that it can be difficult to be aware of countless government programs from different departments related to responsible business conduct. With the publication of the NAP, we want to highlight government’s efforts to make it easier for companies to ethically conduct business.
The Department of Commerce plays a pivotal role in these efforts. For example:
- The Foreign Commercial Service stands ready to help U.S. companies navigate RBC challenges in more than 75 countries around the world;
- Through the International Trade Administration and Office of General Counsel, the Commerce Department works closely with the Departments of Justice, State, and Treasury to promote ethical business practices and combat corruption and bribery; and
- Our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in partnership with State, USAID, and DHS, is leading the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
As my colleagues noted, this publication is only the beginning of an iterative process. We look forward to receiving your feedback and continuing our important work together. Thank you for your collaboration and your hard work.