International Economic Relations

Featured

Increased international trade, and the lowering of barriers to such trade, frequently results in improved international relations, but it can also lead to trade wars and tariff disputes. RAND research explores bilateral and multilateral economic relations; describes how they affect global alliances, globalization, and the economic health of nations; and recommends methods to develop, encourage, and maintain these relations among diverse nations and cultures.

Explore International Economic Relations

  • Research Brief

    China in Africa: Implications of a Deepening Relationship

    Discusses China's engagement with African countries, including what each side wants from these relationships, how Africans view China's involvement and how China has reacted to that, and whether the United States and China are competing in Africa.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • pie chart illustration over a world map

    Commentary

    Happy 80th Birthday, 'GDP' — Is It Not Time to Retire?

    While there are merits to using GDP, it is clear that it fails to measure several important potential externalities to economic growth, such as environmental damage, poor working conditions, or violations of privacy rights.

    Feb 6, 2014

  • Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich shakes hands with European Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Stefan Fuele during their meeting in Kiev, January 28, 2014

    Commentary

    EU-Ukraine Alliance Will Benefit Russia, Too

    The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would benefit both Ukraine and Russia in many ways, especially in greater trade, social, and cultural exchanges. Ukraine's closer association with the EU would actually increase Russian trade with Ukraine as long as Russia does not impose artificial restrictions.

    Jan 28, 2014

  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Hassan Rouhani, and Mohammad Nahavandian at the World Economic Forum

    Commentary

    Why New Sanctions on Iran Won't Work

    Sanctions are not a button that can be pushed to strengthen the U.S. position automatically; they must be used in tandem with diplomacy, and a deeper understanding of Iranian, Chinese and Russian motivations.

    Jan 22, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Dragon Watching Its Tail: China's Evolving Engagement Strategy in Africa

    This article evaluates the state of Chinese Economic involvement in Africa.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • China’s President Xi Jinping (left) walks with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete upon his arrival in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, March 2013

    Report

    Chinese Engagement in Africa Is a Two-Way Dynamic

    Most analyses of Chinese engagement in Africa present China's quest for oil and other natural resources as a single-minded focus that dominates the nation's policy toward the continent. But Chinese-African relations have a give-and-take dynamic in which Africans have driven China to change its approach.

    Dec 31, 2013

  • Pro-European integration protesters wave flags during a rally in Independence square in Kiev December 22, 2013

    Commentary

    Preserving Ukraine's European Choice

    The United States and the EU have a strong stake in keeping open a European option for Ukraine. A reorientation of Ukrainian policy back toward Russia would shift the strategic balance in Europe and have a negative impact on the prospects for democratic change on Europe's eastern periphery.

    Dec 24, 2013

  • Chinese naval soldiers stand guard on China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning

    Commentary

    Thoughts on China's New Air Defense Zone Policy

    In response to an inquiry from The Nelson Report, RAND's Scott Harold offered some thoughts on China's new air defense zone policy and how Japan and South Korea could be brought closer together by their respective responses.

    Dec 4, 2013

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the United Nations Headquarters after the P5+1 member nations concluded a nuclear deal with Iran in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 24, 2013.

    Commentary

    A First Step in Geneva

    The Geneva agreement is only a first step toward a comprehensive deal but it is an important achievement. Iran's ability to move toward a nuclear weapons breakout capability has been halted in return for limited sanctions relief.

    Nov 25, 2013

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem November 6, 2013

    Commentary

    Playing Good Cop, Bad Cop with Iran

    On the one hand, U.S. negotiators must convince their Iranian counterparts that the United States is serious about offering genuine sanctions relief in return for Tehran making concessions on its nuclear ambitions. On the other hand, the negotiating team must also assuage the concerns of allies and members of Congress.

    Nov 22, 2013

  • Nuclear talks at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva November 20, 2013

    Commentary

    We're Close to a Good Deal with Iran. Why Sabotage It?

    It appears that Iran and the P5+1 are close to agreeing for Tehran to suspend major aspects of its program, including the enrichment of uranium to a medium level of 20 percent, and installation of more advanced centrifuges, in return for reversible and limited easing of sanctions.

    Nov 21, 2013

  • European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before the start of two days of nuclear talks at the United Nations offices in Geneva October 15, 2013

    Commentary

    Pause on Additional Iran Sanctions Crucial to Negotiations

    The Nov. 7–8 negotiations between Iran and six world powers (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany) could prove to be a critical point in the Iranian nuclear crisis. New sanctions under consideration by Congress could lead to a weakening of the overall U.S. position.

    Nov 6, 2013

  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the media after a meeting of foreign ministers at the U.N. Headquarters in New York September 26, 2013

    Commentary

    Zero-Sum Enrichment

    Sanctions have taken a heavy toll on the Iranian economy, and the Islamic Republic may finally be motivated to take steps to rein in its nuclear program, including accepting limits on uranium enrichment, in exchange for lessening the pressure.

    Oct 14, 2013

  • A Chinese contractor at the site of the Nairobi-Thika highway project

    Commentary

    The Strategy Behind China's Aid Expansion

    Between 2001 and 2011, China's pledged foreign aid was $671 billion. In all regions and countries, China's assistance focuses on the development of natural resources, principally energy-related (coal, oil, and gas). Both parties presumably benefit from China's aid but both are also exposed to added risks and hidden costs.

    Oct 9, 2013

  • Men travel in a boat across the Yangon river

    Commentary

    U.S. Sanctions Against Myanmar Need to Go

    Washington now has to ask itself whether its goals can best be met with these restrictions in place or whether it is time to recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place in Myanmar and forge a new relationship with its leaders based on full government-to-government relations, writes Peter Chalk.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • Labourers work at a railway station construction site in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa

    Blog

    New RAND Study Examines Chinese Economic Assistance to Other Countries

    With the world's second largest economy, China has the capacity to engage in substantial programs of economic assistance and government-sponsored investments in 93 emerging-market countries.

    Sep 19, 2013

  • Report

    China's Foreign Aid and Government-Sponsored Investment Activities: Scale, Content, Destinations, and Implications

    With the world's second largest economy, China has the capacity to engage in substantial programs of economic assistance and government-sponsored investments. Researchers assessed the scale, trends, and composition of these programs in 93 emerging-market countries.

    Sep 18, 2013

  • News Release

    U.S. Debt Could Reduce U.S. Global Influence in the Future

    The United States still has the economic muscle to shape important aspects of the international environment, but high government debt in the future may undermine its economic instruments of power and its ability to influence global conditions through nonmilitary means.

    Sep 16, 2013

  • United States flag with downward arrow graph

    Report

    U.S. Debt Could Reduce U.S. Global Influence in the Future

    The United States still has the economic muscle to shape important aspects of the international environment, but high government debt in the future may undermine its economic instruments of power and its ability to influence global conditions through nonmilitary means.

    Sep 16, 2013

  • News Release

    Rivalry, Cooperation Between Turkey and Iran Changing Along with the Middle East

    Economic cooperation between Turkey and Iran has increased over the past decade — mainly due to Iran's vast oil and natural gas reserves — but the degree of cooperation between the two nations should not be exaggerated.

    Aug 29, 2013

Research conducted by