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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New Poll Shows Complex Attitudes Towards Trump’s Tariffs, Trade War Scare

At The Hill, Jonathan Easley reports that, according to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll of 1,340 registered voters, “Voters Fear a Trade War,” but also share some concerns about America’s trade deficit with China:

A strong majority of Americans believe the U.S. should take steps to correct its trade deficit with China, but a majority disapprove of President Trump’s proposed tariffs and there are fears that a trade war could damage the economy.

According to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, 71 percent of voters say the U.S. should take steps to address a $375 billion trade imbalance with China.

Fifty-two percent disapprove of the administration’s proposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, including those from China, and 43 percent said they believe Trump’s proposed tariffs will result in job losses. Thirty-eight percent said the tariffs would protect American jobs and 18 percent said the tariffs would have no impact.

More than two-thirds of voters say they’re concerned countries will retaliate against the U.S., potentially sparking a global trade war.

Yet, “Sixty-one percent of those polled said they approve of using the threat of tariffs to win more favorable terms in trade negotiations,” while “Fifty-five percent believe existing trade agreements cost American jobs.”

Sahil Kapur notes at Bloomberg that “If China follows through on its retaliatory tariffs, they’d be hitting just as campaigns are gearing up for the midterm elections that will decide control of Congress. Republicans already are confronting signs that Democrats have a solid chance to seize control of the majority in the House of Representatives.”

And the stock market decline may help Democrats get some traction with high-turnout senior voters by the midterm elections.

One comment on “New Poll Shows Complex Attitudes Towards Trump’s Tariffs, Trade War Scare

  1. Victor on

    There is no major problem in cynically using the complexity of trade issues in the lead up to the midterm elections.

    But this website’s ambiguity regarding the underlying issue is reflective of the problem the Democratic party has on trade policies.

    The numbers in this poll tend to support Trump’s approach, even if not his rhetoric.

    Voters support Trump on substance, strategy and tactics. The biggest worry seems related to his personality. Have we not learned that voters are actually smart and will forgive personality in order to get the substance they want?


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