Whatever else it may accomplish, the trade war has apparently given a big boost to Americans’ perception of foreign trade.
“More Americans than Gallup has seen in a quarter century view foreign trade positively, with 79% calling it ‘an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports,’” the pollster stated in an article by Lydia Saad.
The article reported fewer than one in five now perceive trade as mainly a “threat to the economy from foreign imports,” which is down from 34% in 2016. A high of 52% of Americans held this skeptical view of trade during the last recession.
The latest results are from Gallup’s 2020 World Affairs survey, conducted Feb. 3–16.
“Americans’ perceptions of whether trade is more of a benefit or a hindrance have closely tracked the U.S. economy, particularly since the 2007-2009 recession,” Saad writes. “As that recession got underway, Americans were highly likely to view trade as a threat because of imports. But as the economy improved and unemployment declined to historical lows, so too have perceptions of trade as an economic threat.”
The survey also showed broad support for the new U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement, which was approved by the U.S. earlier this year.
Overall, 80% of Americans said USMCA would be good for the U.S., the report said.