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Americans now less fearful of foreign trade deals, survey shows

Americans now less fearful of foreign trade deals, survey shows
President Donald Trump signs "phase one" of a trade agreement between the United States and China, at the White House on January 15. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Most Americans today view U.S. trade with foreign nations as an opportunity rather than a threat -- a shift in thinking since the United States emerged from the Great Recession nearly a decade ago, a new survey said Wednesday.

Gallup said it found 79 percent of respondents said such trade is "an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports." The share is greater than any recorded by the pollster since it began asking the question in 1992. Eighteen percent said trade is a threat to the U.S. economy. Twelve years ago, 52 percent viewed foreign trade that way.

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It appears perception among U.S. adults has changed with an improved domestic economy and lower unemployment. The 2010s, in fact, was the first decade in U.S. history during which the nation did not enter a new recession.

Gallup said Wednesday more than three-quarters of Democrats, Republicans and independents view foreign trade as an opportunity.

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The survey also found the new trade agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada is viewed favorably. Gallup found shortly after the USMCA was signed last month that 80 percent of respondents said the deal will be good for the United States.

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Gallup said optimism is seen on both sides of the political aisle, but for very different reasons. Republicans, it said, feel that President Donald Trump has improved the economy -- while many Democrats feel that key advances in foreign trade originated with the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Gallup polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults for the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 points.

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