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American Opinion on TradePreferences without Politics$
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Alexandra Guisinger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190651824.001.0001

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Racial Diversity and White Americans’ Support for Trade Protection

Racial Diversity and White Americans’ Support for Trade Protection

(p.140) Chapter 6 Racial Diversity and White Americans’ Support for Trade Protection
American Opinion on Trade

Alexandra Guisinger

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 argues that the redistributive nature of trade policy also affects individuals’ trade preferences. Trade protectionism differs from other redistributive policies both in its mechanism for redistribution and the most common portrayal of its beneficiaries. As shown by analysis of trade-related ads from multiple election cycles, images in political ads overwhelmingly present white workers as the beneficiaries of trade protectionism. The chapter describes an original survey experiment that found whites’ support for trade protection depended on the depicted race of trade protection beneficiaries in a newspaper article provided to survey respondents. Analysis of three decades of US public opinion data provides evidence that white support of redistribution via trade protection is higher and support for redistribution via welfare is lower in communities where high levels of racial diversity heighten in- and out-group dynamics. The chapter concludes with a discussion the mobilization of race-based protectionist sentiment in the 2016 election cycle.

Keywords:   redistribution, welfare, trade protection, protectionism, racial bias, racial diversity, 2016 Presidential election campaign, survey experiment

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