November 23, 2010

Free Trade Agreements Are Expensive

35%

Only about a third of Americans say free trade agreements have been good for the U.S., the lowest level of support in 13 years of Pew Research polling.

While most Americans are generally in favor of increasing trade with specific nations (China and South Korea being notable exceptions), the public is disillusioned with free trade agreements. Just more than a third of Americans (35%) say that free trade agreements like NAFTA and the policies of the WTO have been good for the U.S. This represents the lowest level of support for free trade agreements in 13 years of Pew Research Center surveys. A 44%-plurality says that free trade agreements have been bad for the United States. Democrats are nearly split on trade (40% good for the U.S. vs. 35% bad), while Republicans are decidedly against free trade agreements (28% good, 54% bad). Political independents (37% good, 46% bad) mirror the nation as a whole. Most Americans believe that free trade agreements have had a negative rather than positive impact on jobs, wages and economic growth. Read More