International Trade

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International trade—business conducted across national borders—drives GDP and directly and indirectly affects global alliances, globalization, and the economic health of nations. RAND research has examined international trade in contexts as diverse as arms trafficking, the drug trade, international nuclear commerce, trade unions, the U.S.-China trade deficit, and economic investment in Ukraine.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanges documents with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 22, 2014, photo by Alexei Druzhinin/Reuters/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

    Commentary

    Can Eurasian Energy Compete?

    Jan 16, 2015

    Cheaper oil, government interference, and market dynamics jeopardize the future of Russian and Caspian energy. To be globally competitive, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan should let the private sector play a greater role and make more decisions on commercial, rather than political grounds.

  • Forex - British and Euro currency pair with calculator, photo by Jonathan Lim Yong Hian/Fotolia

    Report

    Lack of Complete European Integration Costs Countries, EU

    Oct 21, 2014

    The removal of existing barriers to foreign direct direct investment and non-tariff trade barriers within the European Union could boost total intra-EU merchandise exports up to 7 per cent in the long-term. These effects would vary by Member State, and by sector of the internal market.

Explore International Trade

  • Pump jacks are seen at the Lukoil company owned Imilorskoye oil field, as the sun sets, outside the West Siberian city of Kogalym, Russia, January 25, 2016

    Commentary

    Low Oil Prices: Good for U.S. Security, Troublesome for the Economy

    Will oil prices remain low? And how can the balance between cheap oil's positive effects on U.S. security and its negative effects on the economy be assessed?

    Feb 26, 2016

  • Pumpjack and oil refinery plant in West Texas

    Commentary

    What Will Happen After the Oil Export Ban Is Repealed?

    Without the crude oil export ban, producers could sell their product abroad without discounting it, and the Gulf Coast refineries could specialize in the heavier oil for which they are optimized. On the whole, the global refining industry would likely enjoy efficiency gains.

    Dec 22, 2015

  • Woman using a digital tablet with an elderly man

    Commentary

    Bridging the Global Age Gap

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers hope for balancing the world's rapidly aging with its jobless youth. As long-term care for the elderly becomes a pressing need in many developed countries, services such as monitoring and reminding people to take their medications could be provided remotely from countries with an abundance of younger workers.

    Oct 8, 2015

  • Protesters wave Armenian national flags during a rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia July 1, 2015

    Commentary

    It's Time to Reboot Our Relationship with Russia and Iran's Neighbors

    In implementing the prospective Iran nuclear agreement, the West cannot forget its engagement in the vulnerable South Caucasus. The Iran deal changes the equation for all three countries and perhaps opens new opportunities.

    Jul 28, 2015

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani arrives to attend the closing statement for the Asian-African Conference in Jakarta April 23, 2015

    Commentary

    Who Benefits from Iran Sanctions Relief?

    More than $100 billion of Iranian oil proceeds are “frozen” in foreign bank accounts under the current sanctions regime. The repatriation of Iran's money would no doubt boost a flagging economy.

    Jul 2, 2015

  • Testimony

    Critical Materials, U.S. Import Dependence, and Recommended Actions: Addendum

    Document submitted on May 26, 2015 as an addendum to testimony presented before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 12, 2015.

    May 27, 2015

  • Tungsten or wolframite ore

    Testimony

    Critical Materials and U.S. Import Dependence

    The United States is vulnerable to export restrictions that limit access to raw materials that are critical to manufacturing. This can hinder the competitiveness of U.S. manufactures and create pressure to move manufacturing out of the country. But there are ways to address the potential for supply disruptions of critical materials.

    May 12, 2015

  • News Release

    China Not a Threat to U.S. National Security Interests in Africa

    The United States should keep China's activities in Africa in perspective. While commercial competition is almost certain, there is little ground for geopolitical and ideological rivalry. The leaders of the two nations disagree about political norms but both seek stability in Africa.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing December 4, 2014

    Report

    China Is Not a Threat to U.S. National Security Interests in Africa

    The United States should keep China's activities in Africa in perspective. While commercial competition is almost certain, there is little ground for geopolitical and ideological rivalry. The leaders of the two nations disagree about political norms, but both seek stability in Africa.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to speak as he returns to Number 10 Downing Street on March 30, 2015

    Commentary

    Letter from London

    There is evidence of decisiveness and clarity in the UK's foreign policy outlook. Yet there is also ambivalence, partly explained by preelection domestic politics, some aspects of which challenge the very notion of the UK as a unitary foreign policy actor.

    Apr 21, 2015

  • Report

    Emerging Trends in China's Development of Unmanned Systems

    RAND's exploratory analysis of China's development and use of unmanned systems focuses on maritime unmanned systems, the roles China sees for them, Chinese development of unmanned vehicles, and uses for such systems in the East and South China Seas.

    Mar 12, 2015

  • President Barack Obama, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013

    Multimedia

    U.S.–Japan Alliance Conference Series Proceedings

    In a series of conferences, U.S. and Japanese experts explored the challenges for the U.S.-Japan alliance associated with China's military modernization drive and increasing foreign policy assertiveness.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanges documents with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 22, 2014

    Commentary

    Can Eurasian Energy Compete?

    Cheaper oil, government interference, and market dynamics jeopardize the future of Russian and Caspian energy. To be globally competitive, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan should let the private sector play a greater role and make more decisions on commercial, rather than political grounds.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • Members of the the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance hold posters during a voting session on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 4, 2012

    Commentary

    ACTA Revisited? TTIP and Data Privacy

    The EU has embarked on negotiations with the U.S. on the TTIP, which shares some of ACTA's goals. This time, though, the European Commission is seeking to make the talks more transparent by publishing a series of position papers on key issues very early on in the process. This is a step in the right direction toward an agreement that will have economic benefits for a net-exporting region of intellectual property such as the EU.

    Nov 26, 2014

  • Dayan Candappa, Carlos Slim Helu, and Saad Mohseni at RAND's Politics Aside 2014

    Blog

    The Risks and Rewards of Emerging Markets

    Emerging markets may offer challenges ranging from corruption to the threat of violence, but the rewards can be worth the risks, experts said during a panel discussion at RAND's Politics Aside event. Reuters Americas Editor Dayan Candappa moderated the panel which included Carlos Slim Helú, a businessman, investor, and philanthropist, and Saad Mohseni, CEO of MOBY Group.

    Nov 16, 2014

  • Multinational corporation deal handshake

    News Release

    Tool Created to Help Multinational Companies Assess Risk of Bribery When Doing Business in Foreign Countries

    Corruption can hinder global business investment -- particularly in emerging markets -- but multinational companies often have difficulty assessing the business bribery risk in other countries. A new tool, called the TRACE Matrix, can help.

    Nov 11, 2014

  • Scales, money, magnifying glass, and books

    Report

    Tool Created to Help Multinational Companies Assess Risk of Bribery When Doing Business in Foreign Countries

    Corruption can hinder global business investment — particularly in emerging markets — but multinational companies often have difficulty assessing the business bribery risk in other countries. A new tool, called the TRACE Matrix, can help.

    Nov 11, 2014

  • A European flag superimposed over euro banknotes

    Commentary

    The Not-So-Full-Monti: Will More 'Europe' Lead to More Trade in the Internal Market?

    Even though the internal market for goods is at a relatively advanced stage, there remains an untapped potential in the longer term. Barriers and regulatory obstacles continue to hinder the free movement of goods in the EU.

    Oct 28, 2014

  • Forex - British and Euro currency pair with calculator

    Report

    Lack of Complete European Integration Costs Countries, EU

    The removal of existing barriers to foreign direct direct investment and non-tariff trade barriers within the European Union could boost total intra-EU merchandise exports up to 7 per cent in the long-term. These effects would vary by Member State, and by sector of the internal market.

    Oct 21, 2014

  • Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and China's Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on August 26, 2014. Officials say Mugabe is seeking funds to rebuild decaying roads, rail and power facilities, and to help mechanise Zimbabwe's agriculture.

    Blog

    RAND Experts Discuss Chinese Engagement in Africa

    Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris discussed their recent report, Chinese Engagement in Africa, as part of RAND's China Luncheon Series. They took a comprehensive look at Chinese and African objectives in the political and economic spheres and the means by which they work to achieve their goals.

    Oct 14, 2014