International Economic Relations

Featured

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.

  • The Russian flag flies above the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Washington, D.C., February 22, 2022, photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Test of How Effective Sanctions Are

    Feb 24, 2022

    The threat of severe sanctions failed to stop a Russian invasion of Ukraine. But if and when harsher economic punishment is handed down to Moscow, what effect might it have?

  • Radio antennas on the mountains of Angeles National Forest overlooking Los Angeles County, California, photo by Sundry Photography/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How China Plays by Different Rules—at Everyone Else's Expense

    Feb 7, 2022

    A single Chinese state-run firm has secured a controlling interest in at least 33 radio stations in 14 countries. But there is virtually no opportunity for foreign ownership, input, or influence in the Chinese media marketplace. This inequity presents U.S. leaders with an opportunity: Unless China opens its media marketplace to foreign investment and ownership, its firms should be forced to divest their American holdings.

Explore International Economic Relations

  • Hassan Rouhani's supporters, Valiasr street

    Commentary

    Rouhani: Rival Constituencies

    Rouhani may improve the economy in pursuing his underlying goal to preserve the Islamic system, writes Alireza Nader. But not all Iranians would be satisfied with just economic improvements. Many want greater freedom of expression and a bigger say in the political system.

    Jun 24, 2013

  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and members of the Chinese delegation following their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 14, 2012.

    Commentary

    Agreeing to Disagree About Africa

    The Obama-Xi dialogue offers an opportunity to clarify both countries' interests in Africa and remove a potential irritant to U.S.-Chinese bilateral relations, write Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris.

    Jun 6, 2013

  • Mexico border

    Commentary

    If U.S.-Mexico Get Security Right, Other Good Policy Will Follow

    Obama and Peña Nieto emphasized economic cooperation at their summit not because security issues have gone away, but because the new rules of the game in this nascent relationship between the two leaders are evolving, writes Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    May 29, 2013

  • map of Syria on open hands

    Commentary

    Saved by the Diaspora

    If Alawites and Sunnis living abroad can stand united against the Assad regime, so can their counterparts inside Syria. By setting an example of coexistence, they can mitigate the fears of Alawites in Syria that deserting Assad would facilitate the rise of an anti-Alawite Sunni regime.

    May 24, 2013

  • Garments factory in Bangladesh

    Commentary

    What Bangladesh — and US Retailers — Must Do to Prevent Man-Made Tragedies

    Perhaps most tragic of all are the disasters that are wholly preventable: the deaths, maimings, and crushed livelihoods that result from human callousness or indifference, writes Jonah Blank.

    May 17, 2013

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Can Economic Openness Inspire Better Corporate Governance? An Exploration of the Link between Openness and Corporate Governance based on the Asian Experience

    Explores the link between economic openness and companies' corporate governance practices in developing countries.

    Apr 29, 2013

  • An Iranian worker builds a wall in Aradan, east of Tehran, March 12, 2008

    Commentary

    Labor and Opposition in Iran

    The economic pains caused by the Iranian regime's mismanagement, corruption, and international sanctions have dealt serious blows to worker wages, benefits, and job security — enough reason for Iranian laborers to organize and oppose the regime.

    Apr 22, 2013

  • a handshake

    Commentary

    A Russia-China Alliance Brewing?

    Three major areas appear to have been the focus of Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin's recent summit: managing expectations about the relationship; expanding bilateral trade in energy and arms; and cooperation on international security affairs.

    Apr 12, 2013

  • South China Sea map

    Testimony

    The Relationship between Natural Resources and China's Maritime Disputes

    Media and policy sources often cite natural resources as a primary driver of tensions in the South and East China Seas. In reality, the region’s hydrocarbon potential is moderate. Resource issues function primarily as focal points for more powerful underlying drivers of domestic political legitimacy, popular nationalism, and regional order.

    Apr 4, 2013

  • Migrant workers load cucumbers into a truck in Blackwater, Virginia

    Journal Article

    Retirement and Health Benefits for Mexican Migrant Workers Returning from the United States

    Mexican migrants who have spent at least a year in the United States before returning home are less likely to have public health insurance or social security benefits, and could be more vulnerable to poverty in old age.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • An array of solar panels

    Commentary

    Why China’s Suntech Might Not Be Alone in Heading Toward Bankruptcy

    As solar power remains more expensive than conventional sources of electricity in most parts of the world, demand for photovoltaic solar panels still primarily depends on government subsidies, says Keith Crane.

    Mar 28, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    China Is the Controlling Producer of Materials Critical to U.S. Manufacturing

    China is the controlling producer of 11 raw and semi-finished critical materials and has instituted export restrictions that create pressure to move manufacturing to China. Action is needed to mitigate the impact of such market distortions on the global manufacturing sector.

    Feb 11, 2013

  • cracked piggy bank with U.S. flag stickers

    Commentary

    U.S. 'Soft Power' Abroad Is Losing Its Punch

    America's fiscal predicament and the seeming inability of its political system to resolve these matters may be taking a toll on the instruments of U.S. “soft power” and on the country's ability to shape international developments in ways that serve American interests, writes C. Richard Neu.

    Feb 8, 2013

  • Commentary

    Charles Ries on TAFTA: SMEs Would Benefit Greatly

    Is the time really ripe for a free trade treaty (TAFTA) between the US and Europe? A TAFTA would liberate small and medium size businesses from a painful cost burden, writes Charles Ries in a guest editorial for International Trade News.

    Feb 6, 2013

  • Former Senator Chuck Hagel shakes hands with Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta

    Commentary

    Reading Chuck Hagel in Tehran

    If Obama's election didn't change Tehran's view of U.S. policy, it's hard to see how Hagel's nomination could. After all, America's war-weariness is no secret, and it's hardly limited to Vietnam veterans such as Hagel, writes Alireza Nader.

    Feb 6, 2013

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    How Can Economic and Political Ties Between U.S. and Mexico be Strengthened? (Spanish translation)

    This study identifies areas that are negatively affecting U.S.-Mexico relations and suggests that the two countries might take a binational approach to improving their long-term partnership.

    Jan 25, 2013

  • Members of the revolutionary guard attend the anniversary ceremony of Iran's Islamic Revolution at the Khomeini shrine in the Behesht Zahra cemetery, south of Tehran, February 1, 2012

    Commentary

    Sanctions Squeeze Revolutionary Guard

    Iran's inability to sell its oil due to sanctions will not only shrink the resources available to the Guard as a military force, but will crimp the wealth of individual Guard officers. This could erode the Guard's loyalty to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, writes Alireza Nader.

    Jan 8, 2013

  • a huge demonstration marched to the federal palace to protest against the draft constitution and the constitutional decree announced by President Mohamed Morsi

    Commentary

    The Mirage of the Arab Spring

    Like it or not, the United States counts among its allies a number of authoritarian Arab countries, and they are essential partners in protecting its interests, writes Seth G. Jones. The normative hope that liberal democracy may flourish in the future must be balanced by the need to work with governments and societies as they exist today.

    Jan 3, 2013

  • Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque at Imam Square in Isfahan, Iran

    Commentary

    Iran: A Rough Year in 2013

    The Islamic Republic faces the potential of stronger economic sanctions and even a military strike because of its intransigence in complying with U.N. resolutions on its nuclear program. It also must deal with twin domestic challenges—deepening malaise among the young and increasing tensions among the political elite, writes Alireza Nader.

    Jan 2, 2013

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    China's Search for Security

    Despite its impressive size and population, economic vitality, and drive to upgrade its military capabilities, China remains a vulnerable nation surrounded by powerful rivals and potential foes. The key to understanding China's foreign policy is to grasp these geostrategic challenges, which persist even as the country comes to dominate its neighbors.

    Dec 14, 2012