India Against Moves to Link Trade with CSR Standards

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May 6 – India is trying to block moves to use an international standard on corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a basis for refusing exports from emerging nations.

The implementation of such a rule will inevitably increase business costs for companies from developing countries as well as affect global competitiveness. “We want to ensure that the standards are not used to restrict trade,” a commerce department official told the Economic Times.

“While our objective would be to block the standard at the ISO’s forthcoming meeting in Copenhagen later this month, we would at least want a caveat that it would not be used for international trade purposes,” he added.

Indian authorities think that the ISO standards could be used by developed countries as a way to decrease trade coming from developing countries. India has appealed that the ISO-26000 should not be deemed an international standard, guideline or recommendation to follow.

The CSR standard is being developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO) to encourage more corporations to implement socially responsible practices.

“The whole idea behind the move seems to be to achieve factor price equalization by imposing minimum wage standards on developing countries,” Biswajit Dhar, director general of Research and Information System for Developing Countries told the Economic Times.

In India, the informal sector employs a majority of  the country’s workforce and CSR activities are typically not enforced.