Voters Want Trade Agreements That Level The Playing Field

Remain Overwhelmingly Supportive of the President & Congress Working Together to Negotiate More Trade Agreements

View the press release or learn more about the NAM's Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) activities. 

The NAM commissioned national survey firm McLaughlin & Associates to conduct the poll.


The results from a March 2015 national survey among 1,000 likely voters reiterates the overwhelming support for Congress and the President to work together to negotiate more trade agreements that eliminate barriers and level the playing field. As seen in a February 2014 survey, there is vast support that cuts across all demographic and political lines. Wide support exists for seeking more trade agreements with additional countries to spur U.S. exports and grow manufacturing. The majority of likely voters, regardless of their political affiliation and ideology, are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports such trade agreements.

  • 82% believe that Congress and the President should work together so that America can negotiate and put in place trade agreements that eliminate barriers and level the playing field. This support is deep-seated among all voter groups, including Republicans (83%), Democrats (83%), Independents (79%), liberals (83%), moderates (79%) and conservatives (84%).
  • 69% advocate America seeking trade agreements with other countries that eliminate unfair trade barriers, open foreign markets and create a fair and level playing field for goods manufactured in the United States. There is majority consensus regardless of party affiliation and ideology: Republicans (69%), Democrats (70%), Independents (69%), liberals (75%), moderates (64%) and conservatives (71%).
  • 73% are proponents of America seeking more trade agreements with additional countries to spur U.S. exports and grow manufacturing. Two-thirds or more of Republicans (70%), Democrats (74%), Independents (74%), liberals (78%), moderates (69%), and conservatives (72%) support expanding trade agreements to increase exports and manufacturing
  • 59% are more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supports such free trade agreements. The majority of Republicans (59%), Democrats (58%), Independents (60%), liberals (63%), moderates (55%), and conservatives (61%) are all more likely to vote for a candidate who supports such free trade agreements.

Methodology: This national survey of 1,000 likely general election voters was conducted from March 12th to 18th, 2015. Last year’s national survey of 1,000 likely general election voters was conducted from February 6th to 11th, 2014. All interviews were conducted online. Survey invitations were distributed randomly within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a general election. The polls of 1,000 likely general election voters have an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval. The survey results in this summary have been rounded.

The Polling Questions

“Do you support America seeking trade agreements with other countries that eliminate unfair trade barriers, open foreign markets and create a fair and level playing field for goods manufactured in the United States?”
    Feb 2014 Mar 2015
1 Yes 72% 69%
2 No 9% 12%
3 Don't Know 19% 19%

“Nearly half of U.S. manufactured goods are exported to the 20 countries with which the United States has free trade agreements. Do you support America seeking more trade agreements with additional countries to spur U.S. exports and grow manufacturing?”
    Feb 2014 Mar 2015
1 Yes 76%

73%

2

No

11% 14%
3 Don't KNow 13% 14%

“Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supports such free trade agreements?”
    Feb 2014 Mar 2015
1

More Likely

61% 59%
2 Less Likely 10% 15%
3 No Difference 18% 15%
4 Don't Know 12% 12%

“The President has Constitutional authority to negotiate international agreements and Congress has Constitutional authority to regulate trade with foreign nations. Do you believe that Congress and the President should work together so that America can negotiate and put in place trade agreements that eliminate barriers and level the playing field?”
    Feb 2014 Mar 2015
1 Yes 80% 82%
2 No 6% 7%
3 Don't Know 14% 11%