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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.

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    Report

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

    Sep 16, 2013

    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.

Explore International Economic Relations

  • People walk along the street soon after, what locals say, was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces, in Donetsk on August 20, 2014

    Blog

    Make Russia an Offer on Ukraine It Can't Refuse

    An international initiative that does not appear to emanate from NATO or the EU could help bring Russia to the table, in part by accepting that Moscow, too, has a role. An international peacekeeping force could open the way for a negotiated end to the conflict.

    Aug 20, 2014

  • Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands before the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai May 21, 2014

    Report

    China's Strategy Toward South and Central Asia

    China's response to the complex challenges on its western borders during the past two decades has been to adopt an "Empty Fortress" strategy, whereby China boldly projects an image of considerable strength in Central and South Asia to mask serious frailty. China is not a major threat to U.S. interests there and is unlikely to pose one in the near future.

    Aug 11, 2014

  • COMAC ARJ21 Chinese commercial passenger jet

    Testimony

    China’s Industrial Policies in Commercial Aviation Manufacturing

    Until recently, the Chinese aircraft manufacturing industry produced aircraft almost exclusively for its military. As China transitions to commercial aircraft production, does it need to rethink its investments and policies to become more globally integrated and competitive?

    Jul 31, 2014

  • Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at an interview with Reuters on May 22, 2014, where he demanded that China withdraw an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam in waters also claimed by Hanoi

    Blog

    China Unlikely to Blink in Maritime Dispute with Vietnam over Oil Rig

    Tensions are rising in the South China Sea, where China moved a state-owned oil rig, reportedly accompanied by six warships, into disputed waters last month, triggering anti-Chinese demonstrations in Vietnam that resulted in four deaths.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) walk as they arrive to the site of previously burnt ivory, in Nairobi National Park May 10, 2014

    Blog

    In Africa: U.S. Promotes Security, China Does Business

    Africans require both security and economic growth. Global powers like China and the United States do not need to choose between the two when focusing their foreign policy efforts.

    May 31, 2014

  • Chinese Renminbi banknotes

    Blog

    A Liberated Yuan Is Likely to Fall

    Some critics claim that the People's Bank of China is contriving to weaken the yuan's value to promote Chinese exports and stimulate the country's lagging growth. But the yuan's true value may be lower than some popular estimates.

    May 21, 2014

  • Report

    China's International Behavior: Chinese translation (traditional characters)

    China's international activism is one of the newest and most important trends in global affairs. This monograph (translated into traditional Chinese characters) analyzes how China defines its international objectives, how it is pursuing them, and what it means for U.S. interests.

    May 5, 2014

  • Hindu saints stand in line to cast their votes at a polling station in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad April 30, 2014

    Blog

    India Votes — and What It Might Mean for the United States

    If elected, Modi could turn out to be the politician that India's Congress accuses him of being, focusing on an internal agenda that discourages foreign engagement. The U.S. would no doubt prefer that he follow the economic course he charted in Gujarat.

    May 5, 2014

  • Mumbai city skyline

    Project

    South Asia Regional Trade and Investment Policy

    RAND identified and assessed the role of political economy and non-tariff factors that have impeded regional integration, and developed policy recommendations to promote regional integration in South Asia.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin welcomes China's President Xi Jinping before the first working session of the G20 Summit in near St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013

    Blog

    Why Ukraine Crisis Has China in a Bind

    As much as China may wish to lean on Russia should Beijing find itself at odds with the United States, Xi seeks a new type of great power relationship with the United States that calls for mutual respect, no confrontation, and cooperation.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • News Release

    China Faces Several Obstacles to Building Successful Domestic Commercial Aircraft Industry

    China's investment of billions of dollars in a domestic commercial aviation industry has yet to result in a commercially viable aircraft and is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future.

    Apr 4, 2014

  • The testing platform for China's C919 jumbo jet, photo by Shanghai Daily - Imaginechina/AP

    Report

    China Faces Several Obstacles to Building Successful Domestic Commercial Aircraft Industry

    China's investment of billions of dollars in a domestic commercial aviation industry has yet to result in a commercially viable aircraft and is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • General David Petraeus, Stephen Hadley, and David Ignatius

    Blog

    RAND Conference: Iran in the Days After a Nuclear Deal

    Expressing optimism that a deal to end Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons could succeed, experts said during a panel discussion at RAND that such an agreement could open the door to a new era for Iran, free of international sanctions but still cautious of relations with the U.S.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • A soldier stands guard near a tank position close to the Russian border near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv

    Blog

    No Easy Answers for Ukraine

    What Russia seeks from its adventure is status, importance and free reign in its neighborhood, for a start. If sanctions and other responses are short-lived, Moscow will feel victorious, and possibly emboldened to future aggression.

    Mar 26, 2014

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office

    Blog

    The Foreign Policy Essay: Evangelicals, Israel, and U.S. Foreign Policy

    The religiously grounded pro-Israel viewpoint distorts American policy towards Israel with an unhelpful inflexibility and exaggerates the political importance of the country (indeed, the whole region) to the United States, says Paul Miller.

    Mar 19, 2014

  • News Release

    Chinese Engagement in Africa Is a Two-Way Dynamic

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, relations between China and Africa are a vibrant two-way dynamic in which Chinese leaders adapt to feedback from the continent.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • 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

    Blog

    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

    Blog

    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

    Blog

    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

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