June 23, 2015

Americans favor TPP, but less than those in other countries do

General Support for TPPAs Congress comes to a decision on whether to give President Barack Obama broad negotiating powers on trade, our new Pew Research Center report shows that while Americans favor the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), they are among the least likely to support it in the nine TPP nations surveyed. And, as with many issues in the U.S., there is a partisan divide on support for TPP.

Overall, 49% of Americans say that TPP would be a good thing for their country, while 29% think it would be a bad thing. When the survey was administered in April and May, the debate over giving Obama fast-track authority — which would enhance his ability to negotiate TPP without fear of it being modified by Congress — had not yet gained the full attention of Americans. Consequently, 12% volunteered that they had not heard enough about TPP to make a judgment, and a further 9% did not answer the question. In general, Americans see free trade agreements as good for the country.

However, support for this free trade agreement is much more robust in most other TPP nations surveyed. This includes two-thirds or more of Vietnamese (89% good thing), Peruvians (70%) and Chileans (67%). And at least half or more in Mexico (61%), Japan (53%), Australia (52%) and Canada (52%) also support the deal. In Malaysia, only 38% support the agreement, but that is due in part to 31% volunteering that they have not heard enough.

U.S. Attitudes Toward TPPWithin the U.S., there are partisan differences on support for TPP. Democrats (51%) are slightly more willing to support the trade negotiations compared with Republicans (43%), while half of independents show their support.

There is also an age gap. Younger Americans are much more likely to support the partnership (65% good thing) compared with older Americans (41%).

Additionally, there are differences by gender on support for TPP, with men more likely to support Obama’s ambitious trade agenda. However, there are no significant differences on this question among lower- and higher-income Americans and between higher- and lower-educated people.

Topics: Globalization and Trade, Foreign Affairs and Policy

  1. Photo of Jacob Poushter

    is a senior researcher focusing on global attitudes at Pew Research Center.


  1. Lyndon Watson2 years ago

    I don’t believe your poll results.

  2. Wes Goodvin2 years ago

    I still don’t know what it is about. Where does one go to take a look at the proposal?

    1. Occupy Culver City2 years ago

      Sarcasm? Senators are barely aloud to read it (in a monitored room with no notes).

      Wikileaks is raising $100k bounty for its leak. That’s probably your best bet for reading it. Unless you are a lawyer at Monsanto? … In which case you wrote it.

      Truly an un-democratic corporate coup d’etat.

  3. Charlie Davenport2 years ago

    one in twenty Americans has heard of the TPP

  4. Occupy Culver City2 years ago

    Outrageous! Americans favor a secret bill they’ve never read that gives corporations the right to sue countries above their sovereign laws for expected profits? People in Latin American countries ravaged by “free trade deals” support a secret trade bill that American corporate layers wrote to subjugate them? This is nonsensical, empty, and dangerous reporting. Jacob Poushter you need to wake up.

  5. John Parker2 years ago

    This is obviously nothing but propaganda. It’s impossible to poll the people about an issue that is a secret, kept from them. How do you sleep at night?

  6. James Max Johnson2 years ago

    How can anyone be in favor of a bill that is classified so that the public whom it will greatly affect cannot read it. This make absolutely no sense to me! And how can other countries be in favor of it; please don’t tell me they can see it. What little I’ve heard about it makes me not want it to pass.

  7. Fritz2 years ago

    The survey fails to account for my view that [a] trade is a good thing and [b] that Obama should not be given the power to negotiate far-reaching trade agreements in secret, as is the case with the TPP. Pew needs to parse this issue more fully.

    On the other hand, who cares what the citizens of the partner nations think? It would be nice if they were perceptive enough to see the benefits of trade, but if they don’t, so what?

  8. Rey2 years ago

    “Americans favor TPP” even-though it was crafted behind closed doors in secret by major Corporations and most of its contents remain a secret to the general public. Question, why was this fast tracked? Why weren’t our politicians allowed to sit down and properly view the contents of this trade bill? Why were the millions of Americans who signed petitions against fast tracking this bill ignored?

  9. bob wire2 years ago

    How many people were polled…less than 10…cuz everyone ive talked to about it is against this false “free” trade nonsense

  10. Gina Hogrefe2 years ago

    Please give sources, I find it interesting though. The partnership is a buzz word as it should be. THe facts seem stranger than fiction though.

  11. Anthony Capitan2 years ago

    I have an idea for a poll question: How informed do Americans believe themselves to be on the content of this deal? Potential answers: 1) Very informed 2) Somewhat Informed 3) Uninformed (aka worthless Opinion). Alternatively, one could ask: Have you actually read content from the deal published by wikileaks, or journalistic analysis of that content? 1) Read content thoroughly 2) Read some content and some analysis 3)Read some analysis 4) Read no content or analysis, answering questions based solely off potentially biased descriptions given during Pew Research Poll … Seeing how only a few congresspeople have taken time to read SOME of this deal, I don’t think your poll obtaining the opinions of ordinary Americans is worth a freaking thing.

  12. doubtful2 years ago

    How can anybody have an informed opinion?, it’s a secret treaty. Methinks few members of the public have even heard of this treaty, making this survey pointless nonsense, and in all probability, corporate sponsored propaganda.

  13. Justin Oechsner2 years ago

    Americans do not favor the TPP. Most American as in 95-99% don’t even know what it even is. And the Americans that do know what it is and happened to be middle class are 100% against it once they find out what it does to America and how it effects them.

    1. Charlie Davenport2 years ago

      How many Americans know that the Transpacific Partnership exists? bogus poll.

    2. Charlie Davenport2 years ago

      exactly; my experience is that one in twenty Americans have heard of the TPP

  14. don scott2 years ago

    Are people stupid, or misinformed, or both? This trade bill is corporate greed at its finest and will do nothing except ruin the environment, eliminate existing laws and regulations, and destroy American jobs.

  15. Suzanne Smith2 years ago

    I don’t believe this poll. At all. In this age of manufactured consent, bought and paid for media, and government lying about surveillance. Why should we believe these statistics. I have not read of or talked to ANYONE who supports this deal. That’s because only a very few, the rich, do.

  16. Zardoz2 years ago

    Your transnationalist overlords are pleased with the results.

    1. Anon2 years ago

      Heck yeah! :-p

    2. Garrett Clay2 years ago

      Yes, it seems the corporate masters are coluding with the delusional bearded old man in the sky devotees on this one. Anyone who believes this study, I’ve got a bridge for sale… They are slinging the stuff, pegging the meter.

      But go read the NYT comments on their TPP guest op-Ed today (6-25), that’s an educated crowd, and they are ready to buy pitchforks. Nice.

      Ross Perot, as crazy as he was, called it right for NAFTA ” get ready for a giant sucking sound as the jobs leave”. The problem is how long it took, and corporate media ignored it, the jobs are gone.

      These guys are just whistling Dixie for their minders. If we could just outsource think tanks…