• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Is the Media Reporting or Distorting American Opinions About Trade?

    The media seem intent on convincing Americans that they no longer support free trade. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal, for example, begins “The American public, already skeptical of free trade, is becoming increasingly hostile to it.” The article goes on to report that the results of a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey show that as much as 90 percent of the U.S. public is concerned about outsourcing.

    Unfortunately, the survey contains leading questions that push responders toward predictable answers. For example, without providing any context, it would be difficult to find anyone who would disagree with the following question: “Do you agree or disagree that outsourcing of production and manufacturing work to foreign countries is a reason the U.S. is struggling and more people aren’t being hired?”

    Fortunately, other surveys that phrase their trade questions in more neutral fashion suggest the situation is not so dismal. For example, a September 2009 poll found 65 percent of the public agreed that trade with other countries is “good for the U.S. economy.” Similarly, 56 percent agreed that trade with other countries is “good for you and your family.” In both cases, over 74 percent of Americans agreed that trade is either “good” or “has no effect.”

    During times of economic uncertainty it is wise to be on guard against protectionist sentiment, and warnings to that effect can be useful. However, there is a danger that headlines proclaiming “Americans have Soured on Trade” could become a self-fulfilling prophesy as politicians scramble for someone to blame for the damage they themselves have inflicted on the U.S. economy.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Is the Media Reporting or Distorting American Opinions About Trade?

    1. The Punk Patriot, US says:

      Really? I would think that it's not the MEDIA convincing us of anything. Keep in mind that the Media is owned huge conglomerates that have benefited from outsourcing our jobs to third world countries.

      I think the massive unemployment, and the fact that all our manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas is the MAIN factor that's convincing people. Maybe you assholes down in the Heritage Foundation's DC offices should take some time off from pontificating in the abstract, and take a visit to Detroit, or Cleveland, and listen to the folks on the ground that have been most hurt by your ignorant, faith-based, unscientific, bullshit trade policies.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×