Research Insights: How Do Pro- and Anti-Trade Messages Affect Public Opinion?

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Oct 2020
While voters in Latin America were generally very favorable to increased trade with other countries, mainly based on perceived employment gains, public opinion is affected by common pro- and anti-trade arguments. General support for trade is unaffected by consumption benefits framing but is highly sensitive downward to employment loss framing. Providing a more balanced perspective of the benefits and costs of increasing trade reduced the impact of negative framing. Framing responses are stronger in countries with high import dependence. Positive framing is more effective in contexts of rising economic sentiment. Negative framing is more effective in economies with high unemployment.