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Foreign Trade: Opportunity or Threat to the U.S. Economy?

What do Americans think foreign trade means for their country? Is it an opportunity for economic growth or a threat to the economy?

Read Gallup's new briefing, Trade Under Trump, to find out Americans' views on trade during Trump's presidency and over the past few decades.

The briefing presents Americans' perspectives on trade that policymakers, corporate leaders and diplomats can use to prepare for the future global economy.

This briefing reveals Americans' perspectives on recent trade-related issues, including the trade war between the U.S. and China and the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Key findings:

  • Nearly 74% of U.S. adults say trade represents "an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports."
  • As the unemployment rate declined from over 9% in January 2011 to 4% in January 2019, the percentage of Americans perceiving trade as a threat from imports dropped by more than half, from 45% to 21%.
  • There is a 45-percentage-point gap in the percentage of Democrats versus Republicans who say that NAFTA has been good for the United States.
  • Relatively few Americans in 2018, 31%, thought the tariffs imposed by both countries during the ongoing U.S.-China trade would have a positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Find out more:

The cover of the Gallup briefing Trade Under Trump features a coastal scene with an overcast sky, ships and crates of cargo on the dock.