The Wild Popularity of Trade Deals and Republicans as Potential New Doves

Two recent articles that we wanted to draw to your attention based on the new Chicago Council Survey results.  The first, by Phil Levy, Chicago Council senior fellow on the global economy, discusses the rough patches hitting negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), despite broad public support for trade agreements.  The article sheds light on why such popular trade agreements have yet to pass; read it on the Foreign Policy Shadow Government Blog.

The second article is co-written by yours truly, Dina Smeltz, Chicago Council senior fellow, public opinion and foreign policy, and Craig Kafura, Chicago Council senior program officer. While Republicans have been known for their hawkish stance on US military intervention abroad, the 2014 Chicago Council on Global Affairs indicates that there may be some shifts. Read more at Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.

Let us know what you think!

Americans Expecting a Power Shift in Energy Supply in Next Ten Years

By Dina Smeltz and Rachel Bronson

A global energy revolution is underway, driven in part by new technologies to unlock untapped resources and drive energy efficiency. A recent Chicago Council Survey shows that Americans place a high priority on a secure energy supply and support the development of renewable energy.  While renewables have many virtues, the public does not necessarily understand the urgency of developing alternative energy as a means to limit climate change. Nevertheless, Americans clearly lean toward cleaner methods of powering the country and expect renewable sources will overtake fossil fuels as the primary US energy sources in the next ten years.

Energy a top priority for Americans

Americans have long considered securing adequate supplies of energy a top goal for US foreign policy.  Going back decades to the first Chicago Council Survey in 1974, majorities have rated securing energy supplies a very important goal (66% in 2014 and 75% in 1974).  In the 2014 survey, it ranks second only to protecting the jobs of American workers. In addition, since 2010, three in four say that reducing US dependence on foreign oil is a very important goal (74% today).

The public has been slower to recognize the attendant issue of climate change, although more now than in the past four years view limiting climate change is a very important goal (41% compared to 33% in 2012, 35% in 2010, 42% in 2008).  If the views of American academic, government and business leaders make an impact on public opinion, concern about climate change among the public could rise. New results from a 2014 Chicago Council Leaders Survey show that leaders, like the public, also emphasize securing energy supplies as a top priority. [1] But leaders also consider climate change a top threat and say that limiting climate change should be one of the highest goals for US foreign policy.

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Emphasis on developing renewables, especially if business or government picks up the bill Continue reading