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Majority has no opinion on Obama’s Pacific trade deal

Majority has no opinion on Obama’s Pacific trade deal
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A new poll released Thursday finds a large majority of voters have no opinion on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

The Monmouth University survey shows that 60 percent of the public is not sure about the effect of the free-trade deal brokered between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations.

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“Free trade agreements like TPP can provoke a firestorm on Capitol Hill and Wall Street. But the potential impact on Main Street remain difficult for most Americans to picture,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Among respondents who have an opinion about the agreement spearheaded by the Obama administration, 11 percent said the net effect will be positive for the U.S., 19 percent negative, and 10 percent said it would have little impact.

Only 12 percent of respondents said they had heard a lot about the deal, while 47 percent reported hearing very little.

Among respondents who say they are informed, however, the deal is viewed very unfavorably. Of the small group, 47 percent said the effect of the agreement would be bad, compared to just 23 percent who said it will be good.

In general terms, the public is similarly unsure about the effect of free-trade agreements.

Twenty-four percent of respondents said free-trade deals are generally good for the U.S., while 26 percent said they are generally bad, and 46 percent said they are unsure.

The TPP has been a controversial issue in the Democratic presidential primary.

Although she supported the TPP while serving in the Obama administration, Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE has now come out against it.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Sanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Progressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal MORE (I-Vt.) also opposes the TPP, and Clinton’s opposition was seen as a move toward Sanders after the liberal senator repeatedly pressured her on the issue.

The vast majority of labor unions, an important Democratic constituency, are also strongly opposed to the TPP.

The Monmouth poll surveyed 1,012 respondents by telephone from Oct. 15 to Oct. 18. The sample has a margin of error of 3.1 percent. 

The White House released the text of the TPP on Thursday.