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Poll: Americans have concerns about new steel and aluminum tariffs

Will trade be a midterm election issue?
Will trade be an election issue in the midterms? 09:36

By Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto

More Americans overall disapprove than approve of President Donald Trump's import tariffs on steel and aluminum,  but Republicans back the president, and they believe the U.S. would come out ahead if a trade war were to ensue.

A majority of Democrats and a plurality of independents disapprove of the new tariff measures, while two-thirds of Republicans approve.

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If such a trade war were to take place, Americans are more than twice as likely to think it will leave the U.S. economy worse off rather than better. Republicans, unlike Democrats and independents, tend to think the U.S. economy will come out better off.

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This poll was conducted by telephone March 8-11, 2018 among a random sample of 1,223 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. 

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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