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.

  • Overhead view of a container ship in port, photo by CHUNYIP WONG/Getty Images

    Commentary

    RCEP Forms the World's Largest Trading Bloc. What Does This Mean for Global Trade?

    Dec 9, 2020

    In November, 15 nations signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free-trade agreement of economic and political significance eight years in the making. Why have some heralded RCEP as a landmark agreement?

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in Washington, September 15, 2020, photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Report

    The Abraham Accords Could Have Wide-Reaching Economic Benefits

    Mar 18, 2021

    The Abraham Accords between Israel and Muslim nations represent a possible new chapter in the region's development—away from conflict and toward a shared vision of economic prosperity. Israel's partners could gain 150,000 new jobs. And that could grow to 4 million new jobs over a decade if other nations join.

Explore International Trade

  • 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

  • The Bund, Shanghai, China

    Commentary

    Confronting a Rising China Begins at Home

    As long as the United States holds tight to its values and solves its problems at home, it will be able to manage the rise of China, write Andrew Scobell and Andrew J. Nathan.

    Oct 18, 2012

  • A sailor mans a small craft attack team post in the Strait of Hormuz

    Commentary

    Will Iran Close the Strait of Hormuz?

    Just by threatening to close the Strait, Iran increases pressure on the U.S. to restrain Israel from attacking Iran. Other key players—including major oil importers such as China, Japan, and India—would be reluctant to support military action because of heavy dependence on Persian Gulf oil, writes Alireza Nader.

    Oct 2, 2012

  • aircraft carrier USS George Washington

    Commentary

    Beijing Unflustered by Cool Ties With Seoul

    In light of deeply-rooted policy differences, so clearly on display in China’s treatment of South Korea over the past two years, no amount of tweaking around the margins of policy, inspired by internet polling, is likely to lead to dramatic improvements in the bilateral relationship, writes Scott Warren Harold.

    Aug 20, 2012

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Military's Role with Petroleum Is to Assure Security

    Energy purchases made by the U.S. Department of Defense do not influence world oil prices, making cutting fuel use the only effective choice to reduce what the Pentagon spends on petroleum fuels.

    Jun 19, 2012

  • Riot policemen block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during a rally near a city court in Kiev, June 25, 2011, photo by Vladimir Sindeyev/Reuters

    Commentary

    Europe's Ukrainian Test

    The EU should conclude the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with Ukraine only if the Yanukovych administration demonstrates clear commitment to European values, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Taras Kuzio.

    Jun 30, 2011

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    How Might bin Laden's Demise Affect Business?

    Given how markets are responding thus far, Osama Bin Laden's death is likely to have a modestly positive and buoyant effect on equity markets, writes Charles Wolf, Jr.

    May 25, 2011

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Our Misplaced Yuan Worries

    To reduce the bilateral imbalances between China and the U.S. requires more carefully crafted policies than revaluation of the yuan, else the results could be perverse, writes Charles Wolf Jr.

    Dec 15, 2007

  • News Release

    News Release

    Gift from Cyrus Chung Ying Tang Foundation Will Help Establish China Study Institute

    The Cyrus Chung Ying Tang Foundation has donated $2 million to the RAND Corporation to establish the Tang Institute for U.S.-China Relations. The institute will work to improve policy discussions that shape relations between the U.S. and China on issues such as currency, labor and trade, and more.

    Sep 19, 2007

  • Report

    Report

    Encouraging Trade and Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine

    Analyzes the foreign trade and investment environment in Ukraine and sets forth policy proposals to foster Ukraine's foreign trade and attract more foreign direct investment.

    Aug 22, 2007

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Cost of Unleashing China's Currency

    Congressional critics say China's undervalued currency is the root of the problem. While China's currency may well be undervalued, the fundamental causes of the job losses and the trade deficit actually lie elsewhere, write William H. Overholt and Pieter Bottelier.

    Jul 13, 2007

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    A Mighty Country's Progress and Regress

    Published commentary by RAND staff: A Mighty Country's Progress and Regress, in Project Syndicate--an association that distributes commentaries to 291 newspapers in 115 countries.

    Jan 4, 2007

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Globalization's Unequal Discontents

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Globalization's Unequal Discontents, in Washingtonpost.com.

    Dec 21, 2006

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Puts & Calls: Concerns Over U.S.-China Trade Deficit Are Overblown

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Puts & Calls: Concerns Over U.S.-China Trade Deficit Are Overblown in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    Oct 30, 2005

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    A Sensible Solution To Beijing's Yuan Dilemma?

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    May 20, 2005

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The Falling Dollar: A Silver Lining for Pittsburgh

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    May 8, 2005

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    How to Help Yushchenko

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    May 6, 2005

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Europe's Embargo: Keep the Ban on Arms for China

    When the European Council meets at the end of March, European leaders may decide to lift the European Union's 15-year-old embargo on weapons transfers to China, which U.S. and European policy makers imposed in 1989 after the Chinese military's violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing.

    Mar 22, 2004

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Buying Cheap Chips From China

    IBM's recent announcement of layoffs at its U.S. semiconductor plant sounds strangely familiar, bringing back memories of when I started my career as a U.S. government policy analyst in the early 1980s. At that time, I found myself in the midst of a great swirl of concern about the technological ascendancy ...

    Sep 24, 2003

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Be Tougher on Burma Than China

    commentaries by RAND Staff: insightful commentaries on current events, published in newspapers, magazines and journals worldwide.

    Jul 4, 2003