January 14, 2014

U.S. Isolationism Isn’t Protectionism

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special to CNN

Isolationism is not protectionism. And confusing the two can create a false impression of the trajectory of U.S. global engagement in the year ahead.

New polling data showing that the American public is turning inward, preoccupied with domestic affairs and less interested in international engagement, is not evidence of a rise in U.S. economic protectionism, with its grave consequences for global business. Indeed, even as their doubts grow over the future U.S. geopolitical role, Americans say that the benefits from U.S. participation in the global economy outweigh the risks. And even as they harbor doubts about the impact of trade agreements on wages and jobs, public support for closer trade and business ties with other nations stands at its highest point in more than a decade.

Read more at CNN’s Global Public Square blog