Statement of PCAJ Advisory Board On the Presidential Debate Discussion of Trade


WASHINGTON – Progressive Coalition for American Jobs Advisory Board members Governor Christine Gregoire, Ambassador Ron Kirk, and Governor Deval Patrick issued the following statement today responding to the exchange on trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during last night's Presidential debate:

"We are pleased that last night's debate focused the candidates on the issues that matter most to the American people, particularly, how to expand economic growth to all Americans. Although neither candidate altered their position on TPP, Secretary Clinton recognized that there are different views within the party when it comes to the deal. 

We continue to support TPP. Thanks to President Obama's leadership, TPP sets the highest standards ever in a U.S. trade agreement on labor, environmental and human rights. TPP also cuts 18,000 different taxes on Made-in-America products to make our exports more competitive in the fastest growing markets in the world — helping create more better-paying, trade-related jobs that pay 18% more on average. That's why most Democrats support the deal, and Congress should too."

Polls across the country show Democrats support trade and the TPP:

  • The latest Pew poll found that 59 percent of Clinton supporters think free trade agreements are good for the country and 55 percent favor the TPP. Moreover, 66 percent of young voters believe free trade benefits their personal finances.
  • Morning Consult's August poll showed that support for TPP grows as voters learn about the deal - since March, voter awareness of TPP increased by 10 percent with a corresponding 11 percent increase in voter support for TPP. This increase of support is even higher among Democrats, with increased awareness leading to a 14 percent increase in support for TPP.
  • A Chicago Council on Global Affairs national survey found that a majority of both Clinton and Sanders voters support international trade, finding that 71 and 67 percent think international trade is good for the economy, 75 and 70 percent believe it increases their standard of living, and 74 and 56 percent support the TPP. 
  • An NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll found 55 percent of voters believe free trade with foreign countries is good for America to open new markets and succeed in the global economy – and that number is even higher among Democrats, with 60 percent in favor of free trade.
  • A Pew poll released in April showed a majority of Bernie Sanders (55/38) and Hillary Clinton (58/31) supporters support free trade.
  • A Gallup poll released in March shows 63 percent of Democrats see foreign trade as an opportunity.
  • A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted last fall showed Democratic voters support the TPP by a margin of 51-25.
  • A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from September found that Democrats support more international trade agreements by a 37 percent margin.
  • A Pew poll conducted last September found that 45 percent of Democratic primary voters wanted to expand trade agreements over 19 percent who opposed expansion.
  • A YouGov poll conducted last October found that 52 percent of Democrats support free trade versus 25 percent who did not.
  • A PCAJ poll from last year of Democratic likely voters found that 52 percent of Democrats supported the TPP, rising to 82 percent after hearing how this agreement would benefit the U.S. economy, American workers, human rights, and the environment. 68 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to vote for a Member of Congress who supports TPP, while 75 percent said TPP would benefit the national economy.


The Progressive Coalition for American Jobs brings together progressives and Democrats committed to leveling the playing field for American workers and building a stronger economy for all of us.

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