Trade Patterns and International Relations in the China-Brazil-U.S. Triangle: A Mixed-Method Analysis

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2011

Project Description/Abstract

China's explosive growth over the last three decades has pushed it to the far corners of the earth in search of petroleum, building materials and agricultural commodities. Establishing inroads into Latin America, a vast area rich in natural resources, has become a critical aspect of China’s development strategy. In 2010, China surpassed the U. S. as Brazil’s largest trading partner, significantly changing a pattern that has existed for decades and upsetting the balance of power in the region. While the trade relationship of Brazil and China may seem straightforward (i.e. Brazil exports raw materials to and imports manufactured goods from China), there are many economic and geopolitical factors at play that add to its complexity. What this might mean for future relations between the U.S. and these two countries is difficult to predict. This exploratory research project will investigate current trade and political relationships in the China-Brazil-US triangle, using standard statistical analysis, social network analysis and qualitative action research techniques.

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