Trade Polls

A friend sent me a link to a compendium of polls an American views of the economy and foreign trade: http://www.pollingreport.com/trade.htm. There’s a lot of information but even a brief look reveals how we perceive our role in the world economy. Many Americans fear China, free trade, and global competition and would like to erect a wall, dig a moat, and raise the drawbridge on the rest of the world.

8 thoughts on “Trade Polls”

  1. What goes up, must come down. This is true for an apple, the stock market, and the United States. I think the public’s fear about China’s power and economic growth arises not merely from China’s secrecy and governmental tactics, but from a seemingly unyielding disinterest to understand China’s culture, or any other country’s. This hubris–or patriotism , as some would rather call it–detracts from the potential benefits of globalization for America. Globalization is inevitable, even for China. International negotiations through tolerance and understanding, rather than cynicism, is probably a more appropriate method to keep America afloat.

  2. I am surprised that in the poll the majority of Americans believe the US is being hurt by the global economy because we all know the benefits of going global. Allowing partnerships and alliances to be formed across the world has helped the growth of US businesses… how can we be afraid to expand? The more international involvement we have the more opportunities to promote international collaboration. Americans need to let go of this stigma that we are always in competition, when it should be about the mutual benefits.

  3. I think GDP per capita is also a very important factor that should be looked at. According to cia.gov, in 2006, the US had a GDP per capita of $44,000, while China’s was $7,700. I think it is a fair assumption to say (according to the facts) that an average Chinese national is willing to work for less than an average American national.

    Although the US will benefit in some ways from further globalization, their gains are still outweighed by their losses. If people from other countries are willing to work in the United States for lower wages than Americans, of course it posses a threat to Americans.

    Even in terms of outsourcing, the US faces problems. In the past the US used to outsource many products to cut costs. Building a pair of Nike’s in a sweat shop costs much less than paying an American minimum wage. These companies now have established factories in foreign countries and have invested a good amount of money in outsourcing.

    We know that the US outsources a large number of goods to the Chinese. We also know that China’s economy has been booming over the past few years. This caused a jump in labor prices. Eventually it will cost US companies as much, or even more, to outsource their goods to China than it would to produce them in the US. This means higher costs to produce American goods, which means higher costs to purchase American goods.

    This is where free trade comes in, with expensive American everyday goods, many Americans would turn to cheaper foreign products. If free trade was implemented, it would be bad news for a majority of US companies. We have seen this in the past with the introduction of Japanese and Korean automobiles in the US.

  4. I think the fear upto a certain extent is justified, especially in the manufacturing sector, where cheap labor in third world countries can be one of the contributing factors of job insecurity. However, people need to look at the benefits of globalisation. FDIs made in the United States are also creating more jobs. To compete at the international level, companies improve their own product quality and enhance their workers’ skills. This inturn benefits the citizens who get better goods and are equipped with better skills.Besides this, globalization makes a larger variety goods available to the customer and since so many different companies provide the same products the buyers have the choice to buy from whomever they want. This makes it a buyers market where buyers have more power to steer the prices of goods in the economy in whichever direction they want. On the whole, the overall economy does well and also benefts from positive trade balance.

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