Poll: Voters Favor Strategy to Restore U.S. Manufacturing Jobs
A just released national poll finds that a majority of voters want more aggressive action to help manufacturing and see the sector as the industry most important to the overall strengthen of the nation.
The poll, commissioned by the Alliance for American Manuracturing (AAM) revealed that 56 percent no longer see the U.S. as having the world’s strongest economy and fewer than 25 percent think anyone in Washington is doing a great deal to help enforce a level playing field for American manufacturing. However, 88 percent of voters believe that it’s possible for America to have the strongest economy, and 92 percent believe that it is important for the U.S. to regain that position.
When it comes to trade with China, the poll found that voters emphatically support tough action on Beijing’s cheating on currency and other trade obligations.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) commissioned the national poll for the third straight year, with each showing an increase in recognition of manufacturing as the “irreplaceable core of a strong economy.”
The bipartisan survey of 1,200 likely general election voters was conducted Jun. 28 to Jul. 2 by the Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research, firms that poll for Democratic and Republican candidates respectively. The findings include results from six focus groups held in Columbus, OH; Orlando, FL; and Phoenix, AZ, as well as two dial tests in St. Louis, MO and Vienna, VA of manufacturing messages frequently presented to voters by the national media.
In the focus groups, voters were stunned to learn that steel production for the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge had been outsourced to China. When presented with proposals to enact strong Buy American provisions for such public works, overwhelming majorities of Republicans (87 percent), Democratic (91 percent), and Independent (87 percent) voters were in favor. Even when presented with arguments from critics of Buy American about allegedly higher costs and increased taxes, voters supported Buy American policies by a wide margin.
When it comes to outsourcing and China’s cheating, more than two-thirds of respondents said that China’s violations of international trade rules were costing the U.S. jobs, and nearly as many (62 percent) said Washington needs to get tougher on China’s cheating.
Voters of all affiliations overwhelmingly support getting tough with China, even when posed with the argument that getting tougher on China’s trade violations could “start a trade war.” Fully 83 percent of those surveyed also had an unfavorable view of companies that outsource jobs to China. In contrast, voters maintain extremely favorable views of goods manufactured in the U.S. (97 percent).
The survey also explored the Obama Administration’s decision to rescue the U.S. auto industry. A majority, 57 percent, thought the quality of cars produced by the U.S. auto industry has improved. On the decision to rescue the industry, when presented with arguments for and against saving the U.S. auto industry, a significant majority of those polled (61 percent) support the government’s action. This support was found to be strong across the country, not just in the Midwest.