59 percent of Virginians agree jobs can be brought back to U.S. by reducing participation in trade deals

Oct. 3, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Virginians strongly support American sovereignty and voters across the Commonwealth sense that current trade deals do a poor job of protecting American interests, a poll conducted on Americans for Limited Government’s behalf by Norman Research and Analytics finds.

The poll was conducted among 1,062 registered voters telephone surveyed on both landlines and mobile devices from Sept. 2 to Sept. 11.

The ramifications for President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are stark as voters by a 59 percent to 35 percent across all demographic groups agreed with the statement, “We can bring jobs back to America by reducing our nation’s participation in trade deals that make it easy for other countries to flood our markets with cheap goods.”

This sentiment that our nation should adopt a broad set of “America First” policies runs deeply throughout the state with a significant majority wanting lawmakers to worry about the impact to America’s economy when considering or reconsidering trade deals.

Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government argued, “The fact that people from all age, gender, racial and education agree with this basic statement should give strong pause to Congress if it should attempt to pass the TPP during a lame duck session.  While we didn’t micro-target down to this level, it appears that the only segments of the Virginia electorate that might support the TPP are those who are paid to lobby for it by the multi-nationals who would most benefit from the deal.”

The most encouraging aspect of the survey is that it shows the basic American concept of self-determination runs deeply in the electorate with support from conservatives, moderates and self-described liberals.

The polling also explored the general notion of who should make the laws and regulations that impact Americans, with 69 percent to 26 percent agreeing with the statement, “America must have the ability to set its own laws and regulations and not be bound to standards set by foreign nations and international organizations.”

“It is refreshing to see that regardless of political leaning, Virginians are committed to the Constitutional construct that our nation’s laws should be made through the consent of the governed, and not imposed by foreign, unaccountable bodies empowered by trade deals,” Manning continued.

The study clearly demonstrates that the public has little trust that existing trade agreements have been beneficial on the whole, and while respondents do not reject international trade, they are highly skeptical that America’s interests have been served through recent trade deals.

The study concludes by stating, “It is clear that any legislation or proposal that cedes U.S. authority to international bodies and allows those foreign bodies to exert authority over American citizens and commerce will be met with strong opposition. As the debate over various trade arrangements goes forward, these trends and attitudes will be tested in other states.  But using Virginia as a guide, moving to enact the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be a serious political mistake for those advocating it.”

Manning concluded, “That is something for Congress to consider should Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell push forward with President Obama’s attempt to rewrite the rules of the world’s economy by jamming the TPP down the public’s throats after the election. Every member of Congress should tell their constituents now, how they would vote in a lame duck session and be held accountable to that promise.”


Voter attitudes toward trade in Virginia, Norman Analytics on behalf of Americans for Limited Government, Sept. 2-Sept.11, at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TradePollVa10-3-16.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.