Support for free trade reaches new high in NBC/WSJ poll
That represents a new high in the NBC/WSJ survey on this question, and it’s a 7-point increase from the last time it was asked in 2017.
Among other findings in the poll, overwhelming majorities support certain gun-control measures, even as the country remains divided on whether the government should restrict access to guns. Those sentiments come in the wake of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that killed more than 30 people.
And Trump’s political standing remains in dangerous territory ahead of his re-election fight next year, with just four in 10 Americans approving of his job and saying they’ll vote for him in 2020.
“This is not an attractive set of numbers for an incumbent,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with the Democratic pollsters from Hart Research Associates.
In the poll, 64 percent of Americans — including majorities of Democrats and Republicans — agree with the statement that free trade is good for America, because it opens up new markets, and the country can’t avoid the fact of a global economy.
Just 27 percent believe free trade is bad, because it hurts manufacturing and other key industries, and there’s no proof that more trade creates better jobs.
The percentage of those favoring free trade is up 13 points from 2015 and 7 points from 2017, with Democrats and independents much more supportive than they were four years ago.
And it comes as the United States and China have engaged in a trade war, slapping tariffs on each other’s products, though the U.S. said on Tuesday that it was delaying some tariffs until December.
“While Trump plays a game of chicken on tariffs, a record number of Americans believe that free trade is good,” says Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt at Hart Research Associates.
McInturff, the GOP pollster, says much of it has to do with opposition to Trump and his policies.
“If Donald Trump is for it and you’re a Democrat, you move in a very different direction,” he said.