Canadian Views on the North American Free Trade Agreement

On the eve of the Republican Convention and as Donald Trump (if elected President) is poised to renegotiate or break NAFTA, we asked Canadians how they feel about the agreement that has governed US/Canada/Mexico trade since 1994.

Overall Canadians support NAFTA more than ever (now at 79% vs 64% in 2001).  Canadians are also more likely to say that the agreement has benefited Canada (47% up from 40% in 2001). Those most likely to strongly support NAFTA are men (29%), University Graduates (28%), have household incomes over $100K (28%) and are residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (27%).  Quebec residents are least likely to express strong support (16%).

Chart1

“How do you feel about Canada being in NAFTA with the United States and Mexico? Do you strongly support it, moderately support it, moderately oppose it, or strongly oppose it?”

8 in 10 Canadians see closer Canada/US economies as a positive trend

Post Brexit, the public sentiment in Canada is still very much in favour of close ties to the US economy.   When asked if the increasingly closer connection between the US and Canadian economies is a positive or negative trend, a large majority of Canadians (81% vs 69% in 2003) say that the trend is a positive one, and feel it is good for Canada.

Almost half of Canadians say NAFTA has benefited Canada

Those most likely to say NAFTA has been a benefit to Canada are men (51%), University Graduates (61%), have household incomes between $60K and $100K (57%) and are residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (61%).

Chart 2

“Canada has been part of the North American Free Trade Agreement since 1994. So far, do you think this agreement has benefited Canada, hurt Canada, or do you think it hasn’t had any impact one way or the other?”