Campus News

Georgians see good, bad in free trade

Georgians are generally aware of the positive and the negative effects that free trade has on the state and national economies. More Georgians, however, say that free trade has been mostly good for the nation’s economy and American workers (50 percent) than say it has been mostly bad (39 percent).

Based on the findings of the most recent Peach State Poll, the best predictor of one’s attitudes about free trade is political party affiliation, followed by level of education.

Sixty-one percent of Republicans and 59 percent of those with a college degree agree that free trade creates a strong global economy benefiting everyone, whereas only 50 percent of Independents, 45 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of those without a college degree share that view.

Public opinion reflects the fact that trade policy is a complex issue. The public generally agrees (74 percent) that American jobs have been sent overseas as a result of free trade, but a majority (51 percent) also believes that free trade creates demands for U.S. products abroad, stimulating economic growth at home.

The Peach State Poll is a quarterly survey of public opinion conducted by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.