Poll: Americans Don't Like Our Current Trade Policy

As people's economic pain grows, their trust in U.S. trade policy shrinks.
The Wall Street Journal reported on a new pollfrom the Pew Research Center that finds a majority of Americans oppose our status quo trade agreements, like NAFTA, WTO and the Peru FTA.

The pollshows,

  • 48% said that free-trade agreements are a bad thing for the country, compared with 35% of the public who call them a good thing. This is up from an even 40%-40% split in November 2007 and from July 2004 when the results were reversed with 47% of respondents calling free-trade agreements positive, and 34% calling them negative.

  • 48% of respondents said that free-trade agreements are having a negative impact on their personal financial situations, compared with just 27% who say it has helped.

  • 52% of independents had a negative view of free-trade, compared to 50% of Democrats and 43% of Republicans.

The poll points out what many observers already know. From the first presidential contest in Iowa to early state battles in South Carolina and Wisconsin to Tuesday's approaching primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, trade has and continues to play a dominant role. This follows a 2006 election when 37 congressional challengers calling for a change to our status quo trade policies replaced NAFTA-supporting incumbents.
Holly Shulman is the press officer at Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
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