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

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Air Force Engagement with Turkey on Energy Security Looks Promising

    Turkey aspires to become a key transit state for moving both natural gas and oil from the Caspian region and from the broader Middle East via pipelines crossing its territory. U.S.-Turkish cooperation on energy security issues offers a promising yet modest opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

    Jun 19, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    What Can Be Done to Increase Asia's Sea-Lane Security?

    The sea lanes that supply Asia's energy needs are already vulnerable to geopolitical concerns and the threat of piracy. One approach to protecting them would be employ multiple U.S. military and government elements; a second would be to promote the capabilities of and cooperation among nations in the region.

    Jun 19, 2012

  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

    Commentary

    Questions After the First U.S. Bank Takeover by a Chinese State-Controlled Company

    In considering foreign application to acquire U.S. companies, the United States needs to consider both risks as well as benefits in both defense and economic dimensions, write Charles Wolf, Jr., Brian Chow, Gregory Jones, and Scott Harold.

    May 15, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    The United States, Japan, and Free Trade: Moving in the Same Direction?

    Assesses the factors contributing to the decisions by the United States and Japan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the meaning of those decisions for bilateral cooperation on trade expansion.

    Apr 23, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Strategic Value of African Tribal Art: Auction Sales Trends as Cultural Intelligence

    This paper explores the potential of the art market for open-source intelligence assessments of cultural security.

    Apr 1, 2012

  • Report

    China's Expanding Role in Global Mergers and Acquisitions Markets

    To improve understanding of China's investment patterns, the authors analyze recent and proposed Chinese investment in companies in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world.

    Nov 22, 2011

  • 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

  • Report

    Report

    Ready for Takeoff: China's Advancing Aerospace Industry

    China's aerospace industry has advanced at an impressive rate over the past decade, partly due to the increasing participation of its aerospace industry in the global commercial aerospace market and the supply chains of the world's leading aerospace firms.

    Mar 24, 2011

  • Report

    Report

    Linkages in World Financial Markets

    Assessing the full consequences of the global financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007 will require years, but it is possible now to examine how short-term linkages in different financial markets have changed since the onset of the crisis.

    Mar 3, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Art Sales as Cultural Intelligence: Analysis of the Auction Market for African Tribal Art

    This paper examines auction sales of African tribal art for the continent as a whole and by individual nations of origin.

    Jan 1, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Collecting Cultural Intelligence: The Tactical Value of Cultural Property

    This paper defines a framework for the collection of cultural intelligence as a fundamental asset in countering threats to cultural security.

    Jan 1, 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