- Bryan R. Smith / AFP)
- Americans are growing increasingly worried about the effects of the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China.
- A New York Times survey out Thursday showed 63% of Americans said this month that the president’s trade policies were bad for the economy in the short-term.
- That could put a key reelection argument for President Donald Trump in jeopardy.
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Americans are growing worried about the effects of a trade dispute between the US and China, putting a key reelection argument for President Donald Trump in jeopardy.
A New York Times survey out Thursday showed 63% of Americans said this month that the president’s trade policies were bad for the economy in the short-term. Meanwhile, 58% of respondents said conflict between the US and China was bad for the country.
Hundreds of companies have testified over the past year that tariffs between the largest economies could disrupt supply chains through higher costs and uncertainty, while farmers have suffered from retaliatory actions. Congressional Republicans have issued similar warnings to the Trump administration, with some proposing legislation to curb presidential tariff powers.
But the Times poll was the latest sign of trade-dispute backlash among American consumers whose confidence and spending has fueled one of the brightest spots in the US economy.
Because Trump has generally polled better on the economy than on his general performance in office, that could pose real challenges for his reelection bid. A separate poll out this month showed a majority of households were worried that tariffs could raise prices and said they would at least partly blame Trump in the event of a recession.
The US and China have restarted talks but hopes for a deal have dimmed since May, when the two sides escalated tensions just as they were seen as on the brink of a deal. On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said it wasn’t clear what China sought in negotiations and that its concessions on agriculture would not be enough for an agreement.
“What we need is to correct the big imbalances, not just the current trade deficit,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network. “It’s more complicated than just buying a few more soybeans.”
The White House did not respond to an email requesting comment, but Trump has repeatedly disputed the veracity of mainstream polls that he does not agree with. The Times survey of 2,740 adults was conducted from September 2 to September 8, with a modeled error estimate of plus or minus three percentage points.