Public Opinion of International Trade

What do Americans think about international trade and U.S. innovation?

A majority of Americans want to expand U.S. international trade:


  • 60% of voters say creating a fair, level playing field for U.S. businesses to compete in foreign markets is very important.1
  • 56% say ending unfair foreign trade practices that keep U.S. goods and services out of foreign markets is very important.2
  • 55% of voters believe it is very important to expand U.S. access to global markets.3
  • 53% strongly agree that it is important for the United States to maintain an advantage over competing countries and markets in technology, ingenuity, and innovation.4


Americans also care a great deal about U.S. innovative industries:


  • 72% of voters feel it is very important for the United States to lead in cybersecurity.5
  • 67% believe U.S. policymakers must prioritize protecting American intellectual property and innovation.6
  • 64% think it is very important to protect the pharmaceutical and biotech industry from unfair foreign trade practices.7
  • 57% of voters believe it is important for the United States to be a global leader in high-tech industries.8


But voters are concerned our global trading partners aren’t acting fairly:


  • 65% say seizing patents, copyrights, and other IP without the inventor’s permission, and ignoring U.S. IP and copyright laws are a major problem.9
  • 60% say the United States must hold countries accountable for the commitments they make in trade agreements.10
  • 56% of Americans believe the federal government should prevent other countries from stealing U.S. business’ ideas and inventions.11
  • 50% strongly agree that foreign governments need to set clear rules for US businesses to operate abroad.12