October 10, 2016


October surprise? Americans support a US engaged with world, survey finds. : Despite the isolationist notes in the presidential election, Americans prefer to remain engaged with the world, a new survey says. (Howard LaFranchi, OCTOBER 10, 2016, CS Monitor)

"The numbers are quite surprising," says Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council and a former US ambassador to NATO. In this survey, "You find an American public that remains deliberate about a foreign policy and an open engagement with the world that have been pursued by this country for the last 70 years."

Among all Americans, nearly two-thirds of those polled say the US is best served by an active role in the world, while equal or even larger majorities support maintaining traditional alliances like NATO and keeping US military bases overseas in countries such as Germany and South Korea.

On globalization and international trade, two-thirds say increased economic integration is generally good for the country, while 57 percent say international trade is good for the US economy, and 65 percent say it is good for their own standard of living.

On the other hand, only 40 percent see trade as a positive factor in creating jobs in the US - but that number is up slightly from a decade ago. And in another surprising shift, Democrats are now considerably more supportive of globalization than Republicans, with a 15 percent gap opening up between them.

Indeed the Chicago Council survey confirms findings from the Pew Research Center this year that Republicans, traditionally most supportive of international trade and the free-market system, are turning against those ideas even as Democrats increasingly open up to them.

But then there is the support for TPP. The trade deal President Obama would like to see ratified by Congress before he leaves office comes out a surprising winner in the survey, with 60 percent of those polled supporting it.

Even half of those who identify themselves as Trump supporters say they consider the 12-country agreement a positive. 

Another surprise: Even a plurality of Bernie Sanders supporters back TPP. Moreover, the survey finds that Millennials are broadly more supportive of free trade and globalization than the general population.

Posted by at October 10, 2016 11:23 AM