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China Values Free Trade More Than the U.S.
Source: | Author:id1412290 | Publish time: 2019-05-23 | 89 Views | Share:

THE ESCALATING U.S.-China trade conflict has left stock markets on edge after the world's two largest economies have spent the past week imposing new tariffs on the other country's imported products. On Monday, Beijing announced it would raise duties as high as 25% on about $60 billion worth of U.S. exports, a move that followed last week's decision by the U.S. to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Despite the moves by the two countries' governments, however, most Americans and Chinese agree that free trade is both good for their country and for the global economy. Even so, a greater proportion of people in China than in the United States say free trade is crucial to the world's economies, according to the 2019 Best Countries survey.

In the U.S., about 34% strongly agreed with free trade being important for the global economy, while around 27% moderately agreed with the statement. Less than 3% strongly disagreed. In China, more than 38% of respondents strongly agreed with free trade being crucial to the global economy and another 31.5% moderately agreed. Almost no one strongly disagreed with free trade being important for the Chinese national economy.

In addition, 34.8% of respondents in the United States said they strongly believe free trade is important to the national economy, while 27.3% moderately agreed with this statement. About 32% of Chinese respondents strongly agreed, while 37.3% moderately agreed.

The U.S. and China are not the only two countries in the world disagreeing on their views on the importance of trade. In fact, the more global trade increases, the higher the number of disputes that need to be solved, experts say. Among the issues – the importance of free trade for both the national and global economies, as well as membership in trade organizations.

Among those surveyed worldwide, more than 30% said they strongly agree that global trade is important for the world's economy, while more than 27% of respondents moderately agreed. Only about 2% of respondents strongly disagreed with free trade being important for the global economy.

Other findings on free trade in the 2019 Best Countries survey:

  • Men are slightly more likely to be supportive of free trade than women. Among those interviewed, about 33% of men strongly agreed with global trade being important for the world's economy, while about 30% of women strongly agreed with the same statement. About 3% of men strongly disagreed with free trade being important for the global economy, while only about 2% of women said the same.
  • Similar difference also said free trade is important to their own country's economy. Worldwide, 31.47% of men surveyed strongly agree that free trade is important to their countries economy, while about 28.58% of women strongly agree with the same statement.
  • Countries where respondents expressed the strongest belief that free trade is important to their national economies include Kenya (51.06%), Mexico (45.97%), Chile (43.35%), South Africa (41.1%) and Denmark (40%).
  • The countries reporting the highest proportion of people strongly disagreeing with free trade being important for their nation's economy include France (4.51%), Turkey (4.83%), Argentina(10.36%), Colombia (5.13%), and Indonesia (4.14%).
  • Countries where respondents most strongly expressed free trade as being important for the global economy include Kenya (56.8%), Mexico (50.9%), Denmark (46.1%), South Africa (42.4%) and Chile (41.2%).

In another survey question, more than 11% of respondents said they have benefited from their country's membership in multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization. More than 15% in the United States strongly agreed with the statement, and a similar percentage (about 14%) said the same in China.

The 
2019 Best Countries report is based on a survey of more than 20,000 people in 80 countries. Other global research has shown that people in countries believe that trade between nations is good. In a study of 27 countries released last September, most people reported positive views about trade. At the same time, fewer people said they believed trade meant more jobs, higher salaries and a decrease in prices in their country.


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