Globalization: Americans Love to Hate It
According to a recent global survey, people around the world believe economic globalization and international trade benefit national economies, companies, and consumers (see chart above).
WorldPublicOpinion.org conducted a survey on globalization in countries representing 56% of the world’s population: China, India, U.S., Indonesia, France, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Armenia—and the Palestinian territories. People in those countries were asked if “Globalization, especially increasing connections of our economy with others around the world, is mostly good or mostly bad” for their country.
The highest levels of support are found in countries with export-oriented economies: China (87%), South Korea (86%) and Israel (82%). Positive answers fall below 50% in only three countries, though such responses outweigh negative replies by wide margins. The greatest skepticism about globalization is found in Mexico (41% good, 22% bad), Russia (41% good, 24% bad) and the Philippines (49% good, 32% bad). In the United States, 60% think globalization is mostly good and 35% call it mostly bad.
Americans are second only to the French in their belief that trade hurts employment. A majority believes that international trade is bad for “creating jobs” in the United States (60%) and bad for the “job security” of American workers (67%). An overwhelming majority (96%) of Americans sees “protecting the jobs of American workers” as a very (76%) or somewhat (20%) important foreign policy goal.
Bottom Line: It appears that there is still a high degree of confusion in the general public about the economic effects of trade and globalization. Americans are conflicted (they "feel strongly both ways?") - as consumers Americans love globalization (everyday low prices), but as workers they are skeptical, feel threatened and hate globalization.
But if Americans took a more "world view," and paid greater attention to the factual evidence on the labor market, they would understand that globalization expands job opportunities: a) more than 10.5 million U.S. jobs have been created in the last 5 years, b) the unemployment rate is at a 6-year low of 4.4%, and c) 18 states have set record-low jobless rates in the last 8 months, all during a time when globalization has expanded.