Monday, May 14, 2018

The Parties Have Flipped On Free Trade And Tariffs

A couple of decades ago, it was the belief of most Republicans that free trade agreements was a good thing. Most Democrats opposed them -- believing they were unfair to workers and encouraged the exporting of good American jobs. That no longer seems to be the case.

Now, the Republican base sees free trade as a bad thing by a slim plurality while the Democratic base sees it as a good thing by a substantial majority. The same is true of tariffs. Republicans now favor the imposition of tariffs while Democrats oppose them.

I find this rather puzzling, and I wonder if it's because of Donald Trump. Have the Republicans adopted an anti-free trade and pro-tariff stance because that is what Trump wants? Have the Democrats adopted a pro-free trade and anti-tariff stance because of their hatred of Trump? Has the love or hate of Donald Trump changed the economic policies of both political parties?

The charts above show the results of a recent Pew Research Center survey -- done between April 25th and May 1st of a random national sample of 1,503 adults, with a margin of error of 2.9 points.

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