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Survey Finds Strong Support for Globalization


A new survey of countries around the globe has found what it calls "remarkably strong" support for globalization, the increased integration and openness of the global economy. It also says that, while many support the trend, they also think trade harms the environment and threatens jobs.

The survey was conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and World Public Opinion.org in 18 countries around the world and the Palestinian territories.

Organizers say the results of the poll represent 56 percent of the world's population and include China, India, the United States, France, and the Philippines among other countries. Steven Kull is the editor of World Public Opinion.org.

"Majorities in all countries perceived trade as having a positive affect on their economy and on companies, they also had a very positive view of the impact on them as consumers and their standard of living," he said.

According to the survey, support for globalization was particularly high in export oriented countries, such as China, South Korea and Israel. Respondents in 14 of the countries were asked whether trade's impact was positive on their national economies, and in all 14, majorities said the effect of trade was good.

At the same time, however, majorities around the globe expressed concern about the environment and expressed the desire to have minimum environmental and labor standards.

Kull notes that, while world leaders of developing countries frequently say their citizens do not want labor and environmental standards to be a part of trade agreements, that is apparently not the case.

"There have been statements for some years by leaders of those countries, of the developing countries, saying that they oppose labor standards and environmental standards of being a part of trade agreements and they certainly hold themselves out as representing their people, so it was very interesting to find out what the people in those countries did feel," he said.

According to the survey, respondents in developed countries overwhelmingly supported adding labor standards to trade agreements, as did respondents in China (84 percent), Mexico (67 percent), India (56 percent) and the Philippines (55 percent).

Economist Peter Morici says that many citizens in developing countries are often under the thumb of the powerful elites and those who want to maintain the status quo.

"It is important to recognize that citizens in places like China and India often align with Americans on wanting a better environment, common labor standards and so forth. It's the development strategies of governments that often negate these sentiments," he said.

Morici argues that, just as there can be common standards among U.S. states, there can be environmental and labor standards established between places like California and China.

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