As new tariffs take hold, more see negative than positive impact for the U.S.

As new tariffs take hold, more see negative than positive impact for the U.S.

As new tariffs take hold, more see negative than positive impact for the U.S.

The FINANCIAL -- Americans’ views of the new tariffs between the United States and some of its trading partners tilt more negative than positive, a new Pew Research Center survey finds.

More say increased tariffs with trading partners will be bad than good for U.S.Overall, nearly half (49%) of U.S. adults say increased tariffs between the U.S. and its trading partners will be bad for the country. A smaller share (40%) say the tariffs will be good for the U.S., while 11% say they don’t know how the tariffs will affect the country.

The debate over trade has registered widely with the public: 82% say they have heard either a lot (48%) or a little (34%) about the Trump administration’s decision to increase tariffs on goods from a number of countries – including China and Canada – and the tariffs those countries have placed on U.S. goods in response.

The survey, conducted July 11-15 among 1,007 adults, finds that attitudes toward the tariffs are deeply polarized. About seven-in-ten (73%) Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say increased tariffs between the U.S. and its trading partners will be a good thing for the country. Roughly the same share of Democrats and Democratic leaners (77%) say the increased tariffs will be a bad thing for the U.S.

The party divide these days is even wider than the gap seen in May, when the Center asked about a proposal to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. At that time, 58% of Republicans thought tariffs on steel and aluminum would be a good thing for the country, while 63% of Democrats said they would be a bad thing, according to Pew Research Center.

Views on the tariffs now in effect differ by level of education. By 56% to 38%, college graduates think increased tariffs will be bad for the country. By contrast, those without a college degree are about as likely to say they will be good (42%) than bad (45%) for the U.S.

Among whites, educational differences are even more pronounced. Whites without a college degree are significantly more likely to think the tariffs will be good than bad for the U.S. (52% to 38%). Whites with a college degree take the opposite view: More expect them to be bad (53%) than good (39%) for the country.

Among both Republicans and Democrats, there are also differences in views of the tariffs by ideology.

Eight-in-ten conservative Republicans and Republican leaners think the increased tariffs between the U.S. and its trading partners will be good for the country. A smaller majority (61%) of moderate and liberal Republicans say the same.

Similarly, among Democrats and Democratic leaners, liberals (82%) are more likely than conservatives and moderates (72%) to say they expect the increased tariffs to be bad for the U.S.

Large share of Democrats with college degree say tariffs will be bad for U.S.While there is a gap in views among Democrats by level of education, there are no such educational differences among Republicans. Democrats with a college degree take an overwhelmingly negative view of the new tariffs: 89% of college-educated Democrats think they will be bad for the U.S. Among Democrats without a college degree, a somewhat smaller share (70%) takes this view.

Among Republicans, comparable majorities of those with (73%) and without (74%) a college degree think the tariffs will be good for the country.