Poll Shows Disapproval of Tariffs on China

Suffolk University/USA Today survey shows voters want Congressional subpoenas honored but oppose impeachment

Mueller testimony before Congress seen as important

Nearly half of registered American voters believe that imposing stiffer tariffs on China will hurt their states’ economies, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll of registered voters nationwide, and a similar percentage oppose President Donald Trump’s tying illegal Mexican border traffic to tariffs.

While 47 percent said the impending tariffs on China would hurt; 19 percent said it would help their states’ economies; 22 percent said it would have no impact; and 12 percent were undecided.

Forty-nine percent of voters opposed imposing stiffer tariffs on Mexico unless it curtails illegal immigration, while 44 percent support this policy.

In the Media

USA TODAY: Risky business? Voters worry about Trump's tariff threats with China

Voters are nearly evenly divided when they evaluate Trump’s handling of trade issues, with 48 percent disapproving of the job he’s doing in that arena, and 45 percent in favor.

“We not only have a divided country on our president’s approach to domestic issues, we are divided on his approach to trade,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.

Trade policy & presidential preferences

Among those who said increased tariffs on China would hurt their states, 59 percent plan to vote for the Democratic nominee; 17 percent plan to vote for Trump; 10 percent said they will vote for a third-party candidate; and 13 percent were undecided.

Among those who said these tariffs will help their state’s economies, 74 percent support Trump; 7 percent favor the Democratic nominee; another 7 percent would choose a third-party candidate; and 11 percent were undecided.

Among those who said the tariffs on China would have no impact Trump led the Democratic nominee 52 percent to 24 percent, with 9 percent preferring a third-party candidate and 25 percent undecided. 

Potential Mueller testimony

Meanwhile, as congressional committees determine their next steps, the poll shows that 61 percent of voters said that public testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be very or somewhat important to them, while 37 percent said it would be not particularly or not at all important.

Upcoming poll results

Additional polling data on voters’ Democratic and Republican primary preferences will be released later this week.


The nationwide survey of 1,000 voters was conducted June 11 through June 15 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were registered to vote. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. The margin of error for the subset of 618 Democratic and independent voters asked about potential Democratic candidates is +/- 4 percentage points. The margin of error for the subset of 385 Democratic and independent voters who plan to vote in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus is +/- 5 percentage points. The margin of error for the subset of 326 Republican and independent voters who plan to vote in their state’s Republican primary or caucus is +/- 5.4 percentage points. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, dpaleologos@suffolk.edu.