By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is bad for the U.S. economy, a shift in opinion that mirrors Democratic views and suggests trade deals could face high hurdles under a new president.
File this under WTF. Three things come to mind:
- Opinions on the economy are largely based on their personal financial situation. For a large and growing segment of the population, confidence is low.
- People have been convinced that Free Trade means that American workers have to accept lower salaries. The idea that we can compete on greater productivity has been ignored.
- People realize that the GOP is in favor of Free Trade except in cases where they aren’t. Like re-importation of drugs from Canada or subsidies to agri-business.
One would assume that our Free Trade agreements are actually Free Trade agreements. Mostly, they aren’t. There is a reason why the agreements are thousands of pages long. They include special exemptions for protected industries on both sides.
A real free trade agreement would look something like this:
We agree to drop tarrifs on everything we import from you and we expect you to do the same.