Is the Media Reporting or Distorting American Opinions About Trade?

Bryan Riley /

The media seem intent on convincing Americans that they no longer support free trade. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal, for example, begins “The American public, already skeptical of free trade, is becoming increasingly hostile to it.” The article goes on to report that the results of a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey show that as much as 90 percent of the U.S. public is concerned about outsourcing.

Unfortunately, the survey contains leading questions that push responders toward predictable answers. For example, without providing any context, it would be difficult to find anyone who would disagree with the following question: “Do you agree or disagree that outsourcing of production and manufacturing work to foreign countries is a reason the U.S. is struggling and more people aren’t being hired?” (more…)