December 11, 2007

Trade Makes Strange Bedfellows

34%

That’s the percent of conservative Republicans who think that free trade agreements have, on the whole, been a bad thing for the United States — a view held by essentially the same percentage (32%) of liberal Democrats.

No consensus has emerged within either political party over whether free trade helps or hurts the nation’s economy; in a few instances these ideological differences have turned partisanship on its head, with virtually identical portions of conservative Republicans (34%) and liberal Democrats (32%) holding the view that unrestricted trade has, in general, been a bad thing for America. As might be expected, a Pew poll finds that Republicans and Democrats did hold different views on trade, on average. But these differences were typically modest. And on several key issues the partisan divide was smaller than the divisions that exist between liberals and moderate or conservative Democrats. Read More