Mixed public response to America’s pivot to Asia
By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center
Special to Nikkei
In the October 2011 edition of the journal Foreign Policy, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote that the U.S. planned to pivot to Asia. This rebalancing has two fulcrums: economic, through a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment treaty with 11 other nations that border the Pacific, and military, through a renewed U.S. commitment to defend its Asian allies.
A measure of the pivot’s credibility is public support for transpacific economic integration, Americans’ willingness to defend their Asian allies, and those allies’ faith that Uncle Sam will come to their defense.
In a Pew Research survey of nine of the 12 countries engaged in the TPP negotiations, a median of 53% think the deal would be good for their countries. The strongest support is in Vietnam, where 89% of the public backs the potential accord. The weakest backing is in Malaysia (38%) and the U.S. (49%). The greatest outright opposition is in Canada (31%), Australia (30%) and the U.S. (29%).
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