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U.S. Support For Free Trade Wanes

By Agence France-Presse Free trade is losing support in the United States, in particular among high-income Americans, as a growing number of professionals feel threatened by job outsourcing to low-wage nations, according to a recent study. The University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) found that among those in the over-$100,000 bracket, the percentage actively supporting free trade slid from 57% in 1999 to 28% in January 2004. These results surprised even the researchers. "It is rare in any case that any demographic slice drops 20 or 30 points on any issue," said research director Clay Ramsay. "It certainly provides evidence for the theory going around now that job insecurity is creeping up the income scale." Indeed, the survey found 53% of the respondents endorse expanded international trade but are not satisfied with the government's handling of its effects on U.S. jobs, the poor in other nations and the environment. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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