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Global Trade Review

Analysis: How trade laws could stymie growth in ESG-focused exports

In an article for Global Trade Review, White & Case partner Walter Spak and associate Jessica Lynd discuss the Firm's "US Trade: The Rise of Benefit Corporations and Stakeholder-Capitalism Businesses" thought leadership report. Spak and Lynd explain the need for a change in the regulatory framework to accommodate the increasing number of benefit corporations and, more broadly, ESG principles in trade law. 

Lynd said: "Several of our clients have sustainability programs, and in addition to that we have witnessed the recent growth of the benefit corporation initiative, as a result of changes in legislation and the work by B Lab. More and more multinationals are joining that movement, and this raises some serious questions since trade laws are primarily based on price and profit, and that’s not the only consideration that these companies are looking at."

Regarding changes that benefit corporations and traditional companies need to consider, Spak added: "We're advising clients of the risks and, for the time being, we will have to work through the process unless trade laws change to include stakeholder values other than profit."

See the full article here

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