Public Opinion of International Trade

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

A record number of Americans believe international trade is good for the U.S. economy:

 

  • 74% of Americans believe trade provides “an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports.”1
  • 65% of Americans think free trade is good for the United States2 and nearly nine in 10 believe international trade is good for the economy.3
  • 63% of Americans believe international trade deals are mutually beneficial for the United States and other countries.4
  • Support for international trade transcends party lines: 82% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans view international trade as an opportunity for growth.5

 

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

 

  • 86% of Americans say continued innovation is important for the U.S. to stay competitive in the global economy.6
  • 87% of Americans say U.S. innovation allows companies to invest more in their local communities.7
  • 72% of Americans say U.S. innovation allows companies to hire more U.S. workers.8

 

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

 

  • Nearly two in three voters say U.S. trading partners currently undervalue American innovation.9
  • More than four in five voters say the U.S. should enforce and strengthen existing trade agreements to ensure U.S. trading partners appropriately value American inventors and their innovations.10
  • Seven in 10 voters think “promoting favorable trade policies for the U.S. in foreign markets” is a “very important” foreign policy goal.11