This report provides an overview of reasons why increased coherence between trade policy and policies to promote responsible business conduct creates synergies leading to more responsible, transparent, and resilient global value chains and in turn a more sustainable economic recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified sustainability challenges and highlighted weaknesses in global value chains, but it has also emphasised the positive role trade and trade policy can play in economic recovery.

Responsible business conduct is an important tool to manage sustainability challenges and can create resilience in supply chains and global value chains, thereby creating long term value. Strengthening the link between trade policy and policy for responsible business conduct, RBC (previously known as corporate social responsibility, CSR), can therefore contribute to a more sustainable economic recovery.

These two policy areas have so far primarily developed in separate tracks. Considering the increasing challenge the pandemic presents, much is to be gained from better policy coherence and deeper policy integration.