WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Support for free trade among Americans has hit an all-time high despite escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and other trading partners, according to a new poll released Sunday.
Sixty-four percent of Americans, including majorities of Democrats and Republicans, support free trade with foreign countries, because it opens up new markets and the country can't avoid the fact of a global economy, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed.
That was up 7 percentage points from the previous time the question was asked in 2017 and up 13 percentage points from a 2015 poll, reaching an all-time high.
Just 27 percent of Americans believe free trade is bad, down 10 percentage points from 2017, the poll showed.
The poll surveyed 1,000 adults between Aug. 10 and 14, with a margin for error of 3.1 percentage points.
The poll came after the Trump administration increased tariffs on various imported goods amid escalating trade tensions with other trading partners.
"While Trump plays a game of chicken on tariffs, a record number of Americans believe that free trade is good," said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt at Hart Research Associates.
U.S. business groups have also urged the Trump administration to remove all additional tariffs to avoid higher costs to American families and businesses.
"Instead of picking temporary winners and losers and holding the U.S. economy hostage, it is time to reach an agreement that finally puts an end to the trade war," Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a national campaign supported by over 150 of America's largest trade organizations, said recently in a statement.