Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trump Represents Only a Fraction of Public Opinion on Israel and Free Trade

Donald Trump has expressed his hostility to free trade policies from NAFTA to the most recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership. He has also stated he will be neutral in his approach to Israel and the Palestinians. These views partially reflect his belief that he is a great negotiator and that trade agreements have been poorly negotiated. He would use those same skills to settle the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.

His views have adherents in both parties, but Americans remain pro-trade and pro-Israel. Gallup reports “Americans Remain Upbeat About Foreign Trade” and “Americans’ Views Toward Israel Remain Firmly Positive.”  More than 60 percent of Americans are more supportive of Israel than Palestinians. And nearly 60 percent of Americans believe foreign trade is an opportunity, not a threat to America.

It is the Democrats that are less favorable toward Israel (53%) not Republicans, but even a majority offer more sympathy to Israel than Palestine. Also, 50 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats support foreign trade as an opportunity.

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