As competition between the United States and China intensifies, more Americans now say the Asian country is more powerful economically, a reversal from two years ago when a plurality said the United States had an economic advantage, according to a survey released Thursday by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
The nationwide survey also found that protecting U.S. jobs ranks ahead of other American foreign policy priorities such as fighting global pandemics, combating international terrorism and limiting climate change. But a majority do not see current policies as benefiting working-class or middle-class Americans. Instead, large majorities said that U.S. foreign policies help large companies, wealthy Americans, the government and the military.
Concerns about China’s economic prowess and the perceived priorities of U.S. foreign policy represent challenges for President Biden and his senior advisers, who have said they will orient their international policies with an eye to aiding working families. One part of this involves confronting China for alleged trade abuses, currency practices and other matters.
The July Chicago Council poll found 40 percent saying China is currently stronger in its economic power, compared with 27 percent who said the U.S. was stronger and 31 percent who said the nations are about equal. By contrast, the group’s 2019 survey found Americans saying the United States was stronger by a 38 percent to 31 percent margin, with 29 percent saying the two were about equal.
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