58% Favor New Tariffs on China; 63% Believe Chinese Using Trade to Take Advantage of Us

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters favor having the United States impose new tariffs on goods imported from China. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 42% oppose such tariffs. These totals include 22% who Strongly Favor the tariffs and 15% who are Strongly Opposed.

New tariffs are supported by 61% of Rural voters, 58% of Urban voters, and 56% of Suburban voters. On a partisan basis, they are supported by 82% of Republicans and 59% of Independents. They are opposed by 62% of Democrats (see crosstab results).

That support is driven by a belief that China has used trade to take advantage of the United States. Sixty-three percent (63%) think that is true. Only 13% do not. Twenty-five percent (25%) are not sure.

Interestingly, while 58% favor higher tariffs, just 31% think they will be good for the United States. This gap between support for tariffs and the belief that they will be good suggests that many voters see these negotiations as a matter of fairness rather than transactional economics.

A plurality of voters–39%- believe the impact from tariffs will be bad for the U.S. Eight percent  (8%) believe they will have no impact while 23% are not sure.

Forty percent (40%) of voters say President Trump has done a good or an excellent job in his trade negotiations with China. Another 40% rate his performance as poor. Twenty percent (20%) take the more neutral option of fair.

However, these results appear to have more to do with preconceived notions of the president rather than a response to his trade policy. Among those who Approve of the president’s job performance overall, 79% rate his China negotiations as good or excellent. Just 3% say poor. As for those who Disapprove overall, 71% say he’s done a poor job dealing with China. Just 7% say good or excellent.

Overall, 82% believe free trade is good for the United States. Seventy-nine percent (79%) believe that free trade helps create jobs.

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The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted May 14-15, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).


Posted in Poll Results

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