Only 35% of Americans Support Tariffs on China

By Jesse Pottinger, July 17, 2019

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A new survey by the Brookings Institution found that 35% of Americans are supportive of the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese products, with 45% disapproving, and 20% unsure. 

The online polling, which surveyed 2,001 individuals from June 16 to 18 across the United States, sought to examine the attitude of Americans toward the country’s manufacturing industry, at a time when the future of American manufacturing does not look as promising as its past. 

US census data reveals that the sector employs about 11.1 million people, and contributes approximately USD5.4 trillion to the country’s economy. 

Two major indexes reflective of the manufacturing sector – the IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index and the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index – have seen recent declines, with the former reporting its worst numbers since June of 2009. 

The 25% tariffs levied against Chinese goods, and the potential for other nations to see tariffs applied to their trade with the US, have added to these concerns. 

But the United States is not the only country feeling the squeeze of these restrictive economic policies. With no trade agreement set to unfold in the near future, US manufacturing companies are pulling out of China to avoid paying up to 25% in tariffs. And according to CNBC, quarterly growth in the Middle Kingdom just hit its lowest point in 27 years. 

Both Chinese and American consumers have already reported that they are noticing a rise in costs for certain household items as a result of the trade war, and a significant portion of Chinese consumers say that they are boycotting American products in protest of the tariffs. 

Prior to an all-out trade war, tensions began in March 2018 with the implementation of steel tariffs for the majority of American trading partners, China included. 

China was quick to retaliate, with USD3 billion in tariffs levied back at the United States the following month. 

Things quickly escalated, leading to the agreement to start negotiations and postpone further actions on either side. But in June 2018, Trump slammed China with USD34 billion in new tariffs, igniting the conflict that continues today, over a year later. 

READ MORE: US Manufacturers Shifting Production Out of China

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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