A discussion of three possible national policies on trading with Communist countries: (1) the traditional free-trade position, which holds that political or other noncommercial considerations should be kept to a minimum; (2) a policy of complete trade denial, which attempts, on moral or strategic grounds, to deprive an enemy of all trade opportunities that might increase its economic strength; and (3) a policy of selective trading, which assumes that free trade in certain goods might help to make an enemy less aggressive internationally or less oppressive at home. The author argues that these alternatives oversimplify the problem, because none is completely valid in all circumstances, and he raises a number of specific questions that might better be asked in deciding whether to use trade policy for noneconomic purposes. He offers answers in the case of trade with the Soviet Union and Cuba.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.