Americans' fears of foreign trade hits all-time low: Gallup

Americans' fears of foreign trade hits all-time low: Gallup
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Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans fear foreign trade as an economic threat, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday

The 18 percent of respondents that said foreign trade is a threat is the lowest number Gallup has recorded and marks a significant drop from the 34 percent that said they viewed foreign trade as a threat in 2016. 

Similarly, Gallup found an increase in Americans that said they view foreign trade as “an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports.” Gallup found 79 percent of respondents said they view foreign trade positively.

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The support of foreign trade was largely bipartisan, with little difference in opinion based on party identification. Among Democrats surveyed, 82 percent said foreign trade was an opportunity for growth, as did 78 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of independents, based on Gallup’s survey. 

Gallup also found bipartisan support for President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE’s newly signed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The legislation was passed after Democrats negotiated with the Trump administration over environment and labor provisions. 

USMCA passed the Senate in January, with just nine Democrats and one Republican voting against it.

Overall, 80 percent of Americans said USMCA would be good for the U.S., including 88 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats. 

The results are similar to Americans' initial reaction to NAFTA after the agreement was proposed during former President George H.W. Bush’s presidency in 1991. At the time, 72 percent of Americans surveyed said NAFTA would be good for the U.S., including 71 percent of Republicans and independents and 73 percent of Democrats, according to Gallup. 

Despite the recorded support for Trump’s USMCA, Americans did not appear to follow the news of the agreement closley, according to Gallup.

Only 12 percent of those surveyed said they followed the news very closely, and 34 percent said somewhat closely, while 28 percent said they followed it not too closely and 26 percent said they have not followed it at all, based on the survey.

Gallup’s results are based on interviews with 1,028 adults between Feb. 3-16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.