Americans, Like Many in Other Advanced Economies, Not Convinced of Trade’s Benefits



Bruce Stokes | Pew Research Center

Publics in advanced and emerging economies alike generally agree that growing trade and business ties with other nations are good for their country, at least in theory. But far fewer are convinced that increased trade results in more jobs, higher wages or lower prices at home – all benefits frequently touted by economists and proponents of international trade.

Americans and publics in advanced economies are especially skeptical of trade’s role in boosting wages – only about three-in-ten in the United States and across the other advanced economies surveyed subscribe to this view. Slightly more Americans think trade lowers prices and generates new jobs (37% and 36%, respectively). Among the other advanced economies polled, a median of 47% link trade to job creation, while 28% say prices decrease thanks to trade.

People in emerging markets are even more dubious of trade’s impact on prices – a median of just 18% in these countries say it drives prices lower. But publics across the nine emerging markets surveyed are enthusiastic about trade’s other economic benefits: A median of 56% think trade leads to more jobs and 47% say it improves wages…


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