Americans Want NAFTA Renegotiated
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A new Rasmussen Reports telephone poll indicates that over half - 56 percent - of Americans think NAFTA should be renegotiated. The juicy bits include:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken Monday night finds that 56% of voters support renegotiation while 39% say U.S. free trade agreements in general have directly impacted their families. Of that latter group, 73% say the impact has been a bad one, as opposed to 14% who say it was beneficial.
Only 16% of respondents favor NAFTA - a pact which came into being in 1994 and lowers nearly all trade barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico -- as is, with 28% undecided... Perhaps most importantly, 71% say negotiation of trade agreements is important to them in terms of how they will vote. Only 20% say it is not important.
(We've been talking about that last point for a while now...)
This comes a few weeks after a Pew Research Center poll showing that 48 percent of Americans, including 42 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Independents, believe "free trade agreementsâ€”like NAFTA, and the policies of the World Trade Organization" have been "a bad thing" for the United States, while only 35 percent said they have been a good thing. This is a dramatic reversal from a 2004 poll in which Americans believed that these trade agreements have been a good thing, by a 47-34 margin.
The same Pew poll also shows that 61 percent of Americans believe free trade costs U.S. jobs, and 56 percent believe it lowers wages. Only 9 percent believe free trade creates U.S. jobs, and only 8 percent believe it raises wages -- results which are consistent across party affiliation lines.
And, just for fun, if you care to take at face value the ABC News/Facebook poll (to be clear... I wouldn't), 79 percent of Americans think the U.S. should renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from it entirely.
A few more polling tidbits after the jump ...
Brandon Wu is a development and program associate with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.