What the Polls Say about Trump’s Tariffs


A poll by AP News this week shows that less than half of all Americans expect the recent rise in tariffs to benefit them. It also shows that most Americans do not approve of President Donald Trump’s foreign trade and taxation policies. Still, more than half support his economic policies overall.

Results of the Poll

A poll of 1,055 American adults of mixed race, income and political affiliation showed the following.

Forty percent of those surveyed answered that they believe Trump’s higher tariffs will help the U.S. economy. Forty-four percent say they think the tariffs will hurt the economy. Sixteen percent said they believe the rise in tariffs won’t make a difference.

Nineteen percent of respondents said they think the rise in tariffs will benefit them personally. Thirty-five percent said they expect the increased tariffs to hurt them financially.

Forty percent think that the rise will help create more jobs for Americans. Thirty percent think the increase will help them earn higher wages. However, seventy-two percent of those surveyed say they expect prices to rise along with the tariffs.

Public Opinion

Raymond Brown, a 65-year-old retired trucker, says, “Tariffs don’t help anybody. It seems like the tariffs are imposed and the corporations just pass that tax onto the consumer.” He added that if he wanted to buy a new car, he would have to pay a higher price because of the tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The price would go up even more if the U.S. started taxing foreign electronics.

Despite the public’s poor opinion of Trump’s foreign trade policy, over half of Americans still approve of his economic performance. Only 38 percent of people approve of the president overall. Fifty-one percent approve of his economic policies in particular. This is in contrast to the 54 percent of people who disapprove of the president’s income tax changes.

The largest detriment to Trump’s favor with the people, however, is the spike in tariffs. Sixty percent say they are not happy with the president’s foreign trade policy. They say that as a master negotiator and businessman, he’s not doing very well with other countries.

Jordan Thompson, a 29-year-old, said, “I’m not a great fan of how he interacts with other countries, how he interacts with citizens, how he tries to manipulate everything so that it’s what works for him.”