International 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.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting on the sidelines of a BRICS summit, in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019, photo by Ramil Sitdikov/Sputnik via Reuters

    Report

    The Chinese-Russian Relationship and Its Risks to U.S. Interests

    Oct 12, 2021

    Over the past 70 years, China and Russia have experienced the full range of interstate relations, from conflict to alliance. Beijing and Moscow have become much closer since 2014, increasing political, military, and economic cooperation. What does this mean for the United States?

  • The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea, photo by narvikk/iStock

    Report

    How Does North Korea Evade Sanctions?

    Sep 23, 2021

    The United Nations has imposed increasingly restrictive sanctions on North Korea after each of the six nuclear weapons tests that it conducted between 2009 and 2016. Enforcement has been mixed, and North Korea has become adept at several techniques to evade sanctions.

Explore International Economic Relations

  • Chinese Renminbi banknotes

    Commentary

    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

    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

    Commentary

    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

  • 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

    Commentary

    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

    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 4, 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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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

    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

    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

    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