Foreign Economic Relations

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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.

  • Rosneft boss Igor Sechin's yacht <em>Amore Vero</em>, which was seized by French authorities, in La Ciotat harbor, in the south of France, March 4, 2022, photo by Florian Escoffier/ABACA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Sanctioning Business Leaders in Russia

    Western sanctions are ensnaring more Russian business leaders, some of whom say they are unjustly targeted. Can those in the private sector reduce their risks of being designated? Perhaps, if they make difficult choices.

    Sep 12, 2022

  • A Japan Ground Self Defense Force soldier (left) and a U.S. Army soldier (right) salute the Japanese and U.S. flags during the opening ceremony of Rising Thunder 2021 at Yakima Training Center, Washington, December 1, 2021, photo by Spc. Dean Johnson/U.S. Army

    Report

    Economic Benefits of U.S. Alliances and Military Engagement

    Decisions about alliances and forward military presence should be based on a range of factors beyond potential economic benefits. But there is evidence that military engagement has historically helped the U.S. economy by promoting international commerce.

    Sep 1, 2022

Explore International Economic Relations

  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory module is shown attached to the International Space Station

    Multimedia

    The Future of Space Cooperation Between the U.S. and Japan

    Over two days in March 2022, experts from the United States and Japan presented their vision for the future of space science and exploration, cooperation between the U.S. and Japan, and the future space economy.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Three drones are set up at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, August 10, 2020, photo by Spc. Khalil Jenkins/U.S. Army

    Report

    A New Era of Major-Power Competition

    While there is a general consensus that the United States is now in a new era of strategic competition with China and Russia, there is not yet a clear understanding of what that means or what forms it could take. How can the United States best position itself to succeed?

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Railway workers repair the tracks damaged by Russian shelling in the northern direction, Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine, November 25, 2022, photo by Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/Abacapress.com via Reuters

    Commentary

    Politics of Ukrainian Reconstruction

    When fighting subsides, Ukraine may undergo reconstruction on the scale of the post–World War II Marshall Plan. Debate is ramping up about core issues, such as the scope of reconstruction, sources of funding, and reforms needed for success. Ukraine and the West might begin now to forge consensus on these issues.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Visitors to the ASML booth during the 5th China International Import Expo in Shanghai, China, November 7, 2022, photo by CFOTO/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Export Controls Give ASML and the Netherlands an Opportunity to Lead by Example. Will They Take It?

    Dutch tech company ASML makes the complex machines required to construct advanced microchips, and it sells many of these machines to China. Harmonization of export controls between the United States and the Netherlands could limit China's development of military technologies and its human rights abuses.

    Nov 28, 2022

  • People gather around remains of a military plane at the site where it crashed into a residential building in the city of Irkutsk, Russia, October 23, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russian Aircraft Keep Crashing. Could Sanctions Be the Cause?

    At least six fixed-wing Russian aircraft have crashed over Russian-controlled airspace since September. Sanctions placed on Russia by the West could well be affecting Russia's ability to manufacture and maintain parts needed to keep aircraft safe.

    Nov 22, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the U.S.- Pacific Island Country Summit at the State Department in Washington, D.C., September 29, 2022, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    America's Pacific Island Summit: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    The United States hosted its first Pacific Islands Summit in September. Pacific Island leaders and observers from over a dozen states participated in the event and pledged to jointly tackle various challenges. But this historic summit was hardly an absolute success, and should be put within its proper context.

    Nov 7, 2022

  • Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft taking part in an exercise after taking off from an airfield in Brest, Belarus, February 11, 2022, photo by Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Su-35: Are Its Military Aircraft Exports Headed for a Fall?

    Squeezed by sanctions and pressed to replace equipment destroyed in Ukraine, Russia's aerospace sector isn't likely to have combat aircraft to sell, even if it wants to. If purchasing countries start to change their minds and invest in drones and other less-expensive precision guided munitions, the market for Russian combat aircraft might start to rapidly decline.

    Oct 20, 2022

  • Attendees pose for a family photo during the Security and Development Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 16, 2022, photo by Balkis Press/ABACA/Reuters

    Commentary

    American Investment in Mideast to Stay Focused on Larger Economies Amid Ukraine War

    China is often viewed as the economic powerhouse in the Middle East, but the United States has extensive trade, investment, and financial links. U.S. economic involvement in the Middle East is likely to stay focused on larger markets in line with economic growth, without dramatic shifts in location or magnitude.

    Sep 30, 2022

  • Members of China's research team setting up an ocean profiling float near the icebreaker Xuelong in the Arctic Ocean, August 18, 2016, photo by Wu Yue/Xinhua/Alamy

    Report

    China's Growing Role in the Arctic

    China has become a player in the Arctic region, engaging in economic, scientific, cultural, diplomatic, and military activities. What security risks do China's investments pose, and what could the United States and its partners do to mitigate undesirable Chinese involvement in the region?

    Sep 27, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    National Security After Roe, Women Veterans, COVID-19's Lasting Effects: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how overturning Roe could affect national security, supporting women veterans, responding to the next pandemic, and more.

    Sep 16, 2022

  • A suspected missile is fired, in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 22, 2020, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Multimedia

    North Korean Sanctions Evasion

    The United Nations imposed increasingly restrictive sanctions on North Korea after each of the six nuclear weapons tests that it conducted between 2009 and 2016. In this film, experts discuss the threats posed by North Korean proliferation and the importance of enforcing sanctions.

    Aug 15, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Gun Storage, the Dangers of Replacement Theory, War in Ukraine: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how Americans store their guns, why

    Jul 15, 2022

  • A student listens through headphones to an exercise in a Spanish class in Steveange, UK, photo by Ian Miles/Flashpoint Pictures/Alamy

    Essay

    The Economic Returns of Foreign Language Learning

    If just 10 percent more students in the United Kingdom mastered Arabic, Mandarin, French, or Spanish, the economic returns could be measured in billions of British pounds. Removing the language barrier reduces trade costs.

    Jul 7, 2022

  • An employee works as grains are loaded in a special transport cargo bound for Egypt, in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, May 11, 2022, photo by Olimpiu Gheorghiu/Reuters

    Commentary

    Unblocking the Black Sea for Ukrainian Grain

    As Russia has been blockading ports around Odesa, Ukrainian grain exports in May were more than 60 percent lower than a year ago. Global hunger has hit a new high while 22 million tons of grain in Ukraine could rot if not exported soon.

    Jun 15, 2022

  • People stand in line in front of Huawei's new flagship store, as it officially opens in Shanghai, China, June 24, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Report

    Business Community Support for U.S. Policies Toward China

    Policies implemented by the Trump administration were designed to confront China over its problematic behaviors, such as theft of technology and intellectual property. U.S. businesses agreed with the policies, but questioned some of the tactics used. How can Washington address corporate concerns and still compete against China?

    May 16, 2022

  • Ukrainian national flags fly over graves of fallen soldiers at a cemetery in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 24, 2022, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    Geostrategic Consequences of Russia's War Against Ukraine

    After two months of fighting in Ukraine, some longer-term geostrategic consequences are coming into focus. Russia may emerge as a massive loser. Perhaps not since the collapse of the USSR has European security been so challenged. But Ukraine and its Western partners are showing that aggression in Europe may not pay.

    Apr 26, 2022

  • Building cranes and power lines connecting high-tension electricity pylons next to a construction site in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 10, 2020, photo by Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Rebuilding Ukraine

    By leveraging better investment conditions and reforms and broad international support, Ukraine could carry out a well-executed reconstruction program once the fighting ends. It might repair much of the war damage and help Ukraine move into the ranks of faster-growing European economies.

    Apr 18, 2022

  • Natural gas compressor station in Rippien, Sachsen, Germany, March 29, 2022, photo by Sylvio Dittrich/IMAGO/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Does Not Seem to Be After Ukraine's Gas Reserves

    There seems to be very little reason to believe that the true stakes of the war in Ukraine are the country's natural gas reserves, as some have speculated. Ukrainian gas fields appear too small to justify the costs of the invasion, too hard to keep, and almost impossible for Russia to exploit.

    Apr 11, 2022