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Poll finds unfair trade a top concern

The latest Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll came out, and it finds that unfair trade policies are a top concern of Americans. According to the WSJ's Janet Hook:

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Tuesday found outsourcing was the top factor cited by Americans as the cause of the country's continuing economic distress.

Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said outsourcing of jobs by U.S. companies to low-wage foreign countries contributed to economic sluggishness. Among other factors cited, 76% pointed to corporate profit-seeking and 72% blamed high health-care costs.

The poll also found that 53% of respondents believe free-trade agreements have hurt the U.S., up from 30% in late 1999. The shift was mostly attributable to a change in thinking by upper-income people, according to the poll.

Find the full results of the poll here. It also finds that 69 percent of Americans think that "free trade agreements between the United States and other countries cost the U.S. jobs." This is a new high.

Also, on the overall impact on the U.S., those that feel that it's been damaging constitute 53 percent of Americans, as Hook notes. Also interesting is that those that find no real impact from trade deals have overtaken those that feel that they've been a benefit.

And, in the question on the top cause of the recession, the only causes that got a majority of support were related to corporate greed, not excessive regulation.

The poll also finds that over 70 percent of Republicans self-identify as Tea Party fans, while Hook's reporting also shows that all the Senate GOP (plus Democratic Senators Max Baucus, Mark Warner, Jon Tester and Ben Nelson) voted to uphold tax loopholes that encourage offshoring.

These findings mean that, a) a lot of Tea Party adherents are concerned about unfair trade; and b) that most Democratic-leaning folk are very concerned about unfair trade.

In a tight election year, these findings would seem to recommend not picking up Bush-negotiated, NAFTA-style deals, no?

(NOTE: Public Citizen has no preference among candidates for public office.)

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