Only Democrats tend to support free trade

March 17, 2016, 5:54 PM UTC

Republicans tend to say free trade has been bad for America, and most support higher taxes on imports

For the first time since the 1990s trade issues are playing a significant role in this election cycle. Donald Trump, currently on track to become the Republican nominee, has promised to take action to protect American jobs from overseas competition and criticized free trade. Hillary Clinton, under pressure from liberal critics, now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership despite having supported it in the past

YouGov's latest research shows that while, overall, the American public are evenly split over whether free trade has been a good or a bad thing for a America only Democrats (49% to 29%) tend to say that it has been good for the country. Both independents (45% to 37%) and Republicans (48% to 38%) tend to say that free trade has been bad for the country. 

Americans also tend to support increasing taxes on imports. 48% want higher import taxes while 29% oppose higher import taxes. Support is highest among Republicans (52%) but even Democrats (45%) tend to support increasing import taxes. 

Support for higher import taxes may not be particularly solid, however, as less just under half of people who support higher import taxes (49%) say that they would still support higher tariffs if other countries threatened to retaliate by placing higher taxes on American exports. 

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here