Americans harbor doubts about Trump’s tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer than half of Americans expect President Donald Trump’s tariffs to do much to help the U.S. economy, but their widespread unpopularity hasn’t led most Republicans to stray from supporting the president’s trade policy as the 2018 midterm elections approach.

Majorities of Americans also doubt the recently announced taxes on imports will increase jobs or wages at home, according to a poll released Friday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The survey found that 35 percent of Americans think the tariffs will leave them worse off financially, while only 19 percent expect improvement. Forty percent expect them to help the economy, while 44 percent expect them to hurt and 16 percent expect them to make no difference.

More specifically, about 4 in 10 think the policy will lead to an increase in jobs. Only about 3 in 10 expect wage gains.

Moreover, 72 percent of Americans say the import levies will cause prices for everyday goods to climb. The agreement about tariffs setting off inflation is bipartisan, with Republicans nearly as likely to express concern about rising prices as Democrats.