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Professor Erik Gordon Joins Marketplace to Discuss Import Tariffs

Erik Gordon on Marketplace

Announced in October 2023, Michigan Ross and the Financial Times are partnering on a monthly poll to track how American voters perceive financial and economic issues in the lead-up to the 2024 US presidential election. The poll is running for 12 months leading up to the election.

Erik Gordon joined “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio on May 16 to discuss the results of the May Financial Times-Michigan Ross poll. Gordon and Brancaccio reviewed what the numbers tell us about voters’ feelings toward tariffs targeting imports from China recently announced by President Joe Biden.

When asked how each party feels about tariffs in general, Gordon said, “Republicans, oddly, are in favor of [tariffs]. They think it’s more important to protect U.S. business jobs, even if it means that it’s more expensive to import certain goods. They think that’s more important than keeping prices low. Democrats are not so gung-ho as the Republicans are. You know, 52% of Republicans are in favor of tariffs — only 41% of Democrats.”

In the Financial Times-Michigan Ross poll, the word “China” was added to the question about voter sentiment toward tariffs, which Gordon says changed the responses of both sides: “If you add the word “China” — if you say “from a Chinese supplier” instead of “from a foreign supplier” — people are more in favor of tariffs. So we want to protect U.S. jobs against foreign imports, but more of us are worried about imports from China than from other countries,” Gordon said. “We’re pushing EVs. We’re pushing all kinds of things to save us from burning up the planet. But, you know, maybe not if the help comes from China.

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