April 24, 2000 BW/Harris Poll: Globalization: What Americans Are Worried About
Americans are deeply divided about globalization and free-trade pacts. In the abstract, they like both concepts; 64% of those polled think globalization benefits the U.S. economy, and 68% think U.S. consumers gain. But the public is split about whether the advancing global economy hurts the environment and jobs. And 69% believe that trade agreements with low-wage countries drive down U.S. wages. This may be one reason why 79% say China shouldn't be welcomed into the global trading system unless it adopts human rights and labor standards.
GLOBALIZATION: GOOD OR BAD? Many of the goods and services produced in this country are exported and sold around the world. Many of the goods and services we buy here are imported from other countries. Overall, do you think globalization is good or bad for:
GOOD BAD DON'T REFUSED
Consumers like you 68% 23% 9% 1%
American companies 63% 29% 7% 1%
The U.S. economy 64% 28% 7% 1%
Creating jobs in the U.S. 50% 42% 7% 1%
The environment 45% 38% 16% 1%
Providing jobs and strengthening the economy in poor countries 75% 16% 8% 1%
WHAT ARE YOU? Which of the following best describes your views about foreign trade? Do you consider yourself to be someone who believes in free trade or trade without any restrictions, someone who believes in fair trade or trade with some standards for labor and the environment, or someone who is protectionist, meaning that there should be rules to protect U.S. markets and workers from imports?
Free trader 10% Don't know 3% Fair trader 51% Refused 0% Protectionist 37%
TRADE AND JOBS Do you think that expanded trade leads to an increase or decrease in the number of U.S. jobs?
Increase in jobs 45% Don't know 10% Decrease in jobs 44% Refused 1%
TRADE AND WAGES Do you think trade agreements with low-wage countries such as China and Mexico lead to higher or lower wages for Americans?
Higher wages 19% Don't know 11% Lower wages 68% Refused 2%
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES? Do you think that the following should be a major priority of U.S. trade agreements, a minor priority, or not a priority at all?
MAJOR MINOR NOT A DON'T
Keeping foreign markets open to U.S. exports 56% 32% 6% 5%
Keeping prices for U.S. consumers low 58% 29% 9% 4%
Encouraging competition in U.S. markets 64% 26% 8% 3%
Preventing unfair com- petition by countries that violate workers rights 74% 15% 8% 3%
Protecting the environment 80% 14% 4% 2%
Preventing the loss of U.S. jobs 77% 16% 5% 2%
HOW TO HANDLE CHINA Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on trade with China?
The best way to improve human and worker rights in China is not to restrict trade but to engage China and include it in World Trade Organization and give it permanent access to U.S. markets 15%
Congress should only give China permanent access to the U.S. markets when it agrees to meet human right and labor standards 79%
Don't know 5%
Poll was conducted by Harris Interactive between Apr. 7-10, 2000. A total of 1,024 interviews were conducted. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%