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Vast Majority of Millennials, Minorities and Tech-Savvy Voters Support TPP, Shows CTA Polling

Arlington, VA – October 19, 2016 – 

Two-thirds of millennial (63 percent), African American (63 percent) and Latino voters (60 percent) support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, according to new polling from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™.

The research also shows that among all voters, about seven-in-ten agree trade agreements keep consumer prices low (72 percent), strengthen the country’s global leadership (70 percent) and ensure other countries will be penalized if they don’t adhere to trade rules (64 percent); and almost six-in-ten voters (56 percent) agree they create jobs and grow the economy.

“Despite what you’d think from listening to the rhetoric of both the major campaigns, most American voters agree that free trade is a job-creating win for our country, our economy and our consumers,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Secretary Clinton, Senator Kaine and Governor Pence were all correct in their pre-campaign assessments of TPP – this agreement will lower consumer prices, create good jobs and help ensure our country’s place at the forefront of the world’s economic stage.”

While a majority of voters somewhat or strongly oppose TPP today, an overwhelming number have strongly positive views about the potential benefits of trade agreements:

  • Three-quarters of Democrats (75 percent) and more than two-thirds of Republicans (69 percent) agree with “Trade agreements keep prices low for many consumer products.”

  • Two-thirds of Democrats (64 percent) and more than half of Republicans (53 percent) agree with “Trade agreements help create American jobs and bring long-term growth to the U.S.”

  • A vast majority of Democrats (79 percent) and Republicans (69 percent) agree with “As more Asian economies thrive, the U.S. must advance trade deals to remain globally competitive.”

  • Among all respondents, 42 percent support TPP, including 30 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Independents.

Additionally, CTA’s polling reveals of tech-savvy voters – those who buy new technology as soon as it is available – tend to be more pro-free trade than the general voter population. More than three-quarters of this demographic (77 percent) support the benefits of free trade.

“Our research reveals a tremendous opportunity for the Clinton and Trump campaigns – one they’d be wise to seize upon in the next few weeks,” said Shapiro. “Trade agreements support 41 million U.S. jobs, but each candidate must do a better job of connecting the dots for voters about how free trade – and the TPP in particular – will benefit them. By dropping the populist messaging these candidates think voters want to hear and, instead, explaining the massive benefits TPP can deliver to our country, one of these campaigns could attract enough voters from key demographics to tip the election in its favor.”

The 12 nations that are part of the TPP agreement are among the fastest-growing economies in the world, accounting for 40 percent of the global gross domestic product. In 2014, U.S. technology companies exported $10 billion in goods and services to TPP markets. As TPP countries move to ratify the trade agreement, TPP advocates will focus on Congress’ lame duck session to pass TPP.

“Between now and the end of the lame-duck session, President Obama, the business community and other stakeholders must work together to educate Congress about the economic benefits trade agreements bring to our country,” added Shapiro. “The future stability of our economy depends on it.”

The CTA poll of  1,600 registered voters was conducted online Sep. 14-19 by data analytics firm 0ptimus. The margin of sampling error of all respondents is plus or minus three percentage points.