Virginia’s Voters Reject Pending TPP Trade Deal

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Almost 60 percent of Virginia voters would prefer more jobs for Americans than more cheap goods from abroad, according to a new poll sponsored by Americans for Limited Government, which is rallying public opinion against the business-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “We can bring jobs back to America by reducing our nation’s participation in trade deals that make it easy for other countries to flood our markets with cheap goods,” according to the poll, which was conducted in the first week of September. Thirty-five percent of the 1,062 Virginia registered voters disagreed with the jobs-before-cheap-goods statement.

“The fact that people from all age, gender, racial and education agree with this basic statement should give strong pause to Congress if it should attempt to pass the TPP during a lame duck session,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, in a political shot aimed at Virginia’s two Democratic Senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

The two Senators may be asked to vote for or against the deal during a lame-duck sessions of Congress after the election.

The deal is backed by outgoing President Barack Obama, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many business groups, plus the Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan.

The poll also asked voters about one of the TPP’s most controversial elements — the creation of a three-judge panel that would have the power to override national laws that restrict companies’ ability to move goods, factories or workers from one country to another. For example, the TPP rules apparently allow foreign companies to transplant low-wage Asian workforces into the United States, so bypassing U.S. immigration laws and lowering wages for Americans.

The poll showed that 69 percent agreed with the statement, “America must have the ability to set its own laws and regulations and not be bound to standards set by foreign nations and international organizations.” Only 29 percent disagreed with the statement.

“It appears that the only segments of the Virginia electorate that might support the TPP are those who are paid to lobby for it by the multi-nationals who would most benefit from the deal,” added Manning.

The poll was conducted by Norman Research and Analytics.