New Poll: Vast Majority of Americans Want the President and Congress to Work Together to Expand Trade Deals

Voters More Likely to Vote for Candidates Who Support Trade

Americans from across the political spectrum believe that the President and Congress should work together to seek out new trade agreements, according to new polling data. The most effective way to ensure this collaboration is through swift passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a critical partnership between the President and Congress that facilitates negotiation and approval of trade agreements.

The poll, released by national survey firm McLaughlin & Associates and commissioned by the NAM, also shows that a vast majority of Americans support efforts to seek trade agreements and would be more likely to vote for congressional candidates who support these agreements.

According to the February poll of 1,000 likely voters:


  • 80 percent believe that the President and Congress should work together to put in place new trade agreements;
  • 76 percent support the United States seeking more trade agreements with additional countries; and
  • 61 percent would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supports free trade agreements.

“These numbers confirm what manufacturers already know—Americans overwhelmingly support trade agreements that eliminate barriers, open new markets and create a fair playing field for American workers and businesses,” said NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey. “They also strongly support the President and Congress working together to accomplish these new deals. Through passage of TPA, we can ensure this critical collaboration.”

The poll results reflect rising U.S. exports and the power of trade agreements to level the playing field and open new export opportunities abroad. U.S.-manufactured goods exports have more than doubled since TPA was last approved in 2002. The United States enjoys a more than $200 billion trade surplus with its 20 existing trade agreement partners. Those partners account for less than 10 percent of global GDP, but purchase nearly half of all U.S.-manufactured goods exports.

In October, the NAM Board of Directors passed a resolution calling on the Administration and Congress to act quickly to restore TPA so the United States can continue to open overseas markets and pursue the kind of robust trade policies and agreements that will help grow manufacturing. Every President since Franklin Roosevelt has had authority from Congress to strike trade deals that open overseas markets for manufacturers and workers.

To see more about the NAM’s TPA priorities and how manufacturers in every state are benefitting from trade, visit our website.