Americans’ dislike of China surges as trade war rages

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President Trump has been at odds with China over its trade practices during his entire tenure in the Oval Office.

Most Americans are following his lead, with a new Pew poll finding 60 percent of Americans, a 14-year high, hold an unfavorable opinion of China.

It’s the highest level since Pew started asking the question.

The president has objected to unfair deals, the trade imbalance, the pirating of American technology and more. He’s reacted by slapping tariffs on Chinese products imported to the United States.

Fox Business reported Tuesday that Trump was touting the immediate results of his policy.

“Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!”

The Trump administration has levied 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and is preparing to slap a 10 percent tariff on another $300 billion on Sept. 1.

The U.S. has collected $63 billion from the tariffs through June.

Pew said that “despite periodic, high-level meetings intended to defuse these trade tensions, results of a new Pew Research Center survey indicate Americans believe economic ties between China and the U.S. are poor.”

The 60 percent of Americans who have an unfavorable opinion of China is up from 47 percent in 2018.

“Americans also increasingly see China as a threat. Around a quarter of Americans (24 percent) name China as the country or group that poses the greatest threat to the U.S. in the future, twice as many as said the same in 2007. China is tied with Russia (24 percent) as the country or group most cited as a threat to the U.S. The only other country to measure in the double digits is North Korea (12 percent),” Pew found.

Americans are happy that China’s economy is growing, “but when it comes to China’s increasing military strength, opinion is more uniformly critical: 81 percent of Americans think China’s growing military power is bad for the U.S.,” Pew said.

The survey was done May 13 to June 18, 2019, among 1,503 adults, Pew said.

The survey also revealed that “older Americans tend to have more negative views of China than younger Americans. Older Americans are also more likely to be concerned about the impact of both China’s growing military and economic strength on the United States, though they are more likely to see the U.S. as the leading economic power than younger Americans.”

Among the 60 percent who view China unfavorably, one quarter “have a very unfavorable opinion.”

“As has historically been the case in Pew Research Center polling, older people tend to have more negative opinions of China than younger people. About half of 18- to 29-year-olds (49 percent) express an unfavorable view of China, compared with 58 percent of those ages 30 to 49 and two-thirds of people 50 and older (67 percent),” Pew said.

“Shifting attitudes toward China are colored, in part, by the context of the continued trade frictions and tariffs between the United States and China,” said Pew. “Today, just over half of Americans (53 percent) believe current economic ties between the U.S. and China are bad. Fewer (41 percent) think economic relations between the two nations are good, with just 2 percent of American adults saying ties are very good.”

Pew said Chinese President Xi Jinping receives overall negative ratings from the American public. Half of U.S. adults surveyed say they have little or no confidence in the Chinese leader, while 37 percent have at least some confidence.

That’s up 9 points from 2014.


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