The US-China Trade War; What Do Americans Think Of It?

The 2020 election is around the corner and all eyes are on the US-China trade war, which has now entered its second year. As the tariff war is now affecting the average American consumer, Piplsay surveyed 42,226 adults to understand their perception of it. The trade war may have a strong influence on how Americans vote next year. Lawmakers and political parties can leverage this data to add value to and amplify their election campaigns. For an in-depth analysis of the survey responses, download the full survey results here.

Fourteen months since it began, the US-China trade war seems to be finally heading towards a resolution. Ahead of the crucial US-China trade meeting scheduled for next month, both countries have displayed goodwill gestures – a tariff exemption and delays –  to facilitate a smooth start.

We have been hearing about high-level talks and negotiations, but what do Americans think about the economic standoff? How does it impact their lives, if at all? Piplsay invited over 42,000 Americans to share their opinions. Here’s a summary of what we found.

The good news is that more than 70% of Americans today are aware of the US-China trade war, although some may not be aware of all the details. The two countries have been imposing billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on each other’s goods for over a year, and the American people are paying attention. Six out of 10 Americans believe that the tariff war has started to hurt the US economy.

Rising Prices as a Factor

The American public was initially fairly unaffected by the trade war, as import duties mostly targeted non-consumer Chinese goods. However, with tit-for-tat tariffs now impacting everyday essentials such as food and clothing, the trade war seems to have finally reached the average American’s doorstep. Understandably, a good 61% of Piplsay respondents are feeling the heat of the trade war, with price hikes hurting them the most. The 22% of Americans who are unsure of the trade war’s impact could also include those who are unaware of it and its implications.

Penny-Pinching Anyone?

This is just the beginning. With another round of fresh tariffs and hikes scheduled for later this year, US consumers can expect soaring commodity prices if the trade talks fail. Much to our surprise, Americans don’t seem worried about this looming threat, despite the approaching holiday season. A whopping 64% of Americans are determined to go ahead with their usual holiday shopping, at least for now.

The Piplsay survey also reveals that Americans are divided in their opinion on President Trump’s decision to continue imposing tariffs on Chinese goods. However, the upcoming trade meeting could still bring early holiday cheer, even though few Americans are expecting a speedy resolution.

Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted nationwide in the US in the month of September in 2019. We received 42,226 responses from individuals aged 18 years or older

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