August 17, 2018 — Representing a significant 11-point increase since December 2017, 56% of Canadians approve of the job that the Trudeau Government is doing in the ongoing NAFTA negotiations with the U.S. and Mexico. Just 24% disapprove, and 20% are unsure.
Our second wave of research on public perceptions, preferences, and expectations regarding the NAFTA negotiations reveals that public opinion has held steady since December 2017 – except for this notable increase in approval ratings, which has occurred across all provinces.
Canadian preferences for the outcome of the negotiations remain clear. A majority (55%; +1) continue to want a new NAFTA deal only if there are moderate or minor concessions to the U.S., as few are supportive of a deal that makes major concessions.
Public expectations are largely unchanged since December. Four-in-ten (42%) expect the negotiations to produce a revised NAFTA that is either a fair deal (23%) or overly favourable to the U.S. (19%). Another quarter (25%) expect NAFTA to be cancelled – either with no immediate replacement in sight (8%) or replaced by individual two-country deals (17%). Less than one-in-ten (7%) expect NAFTA to emerge unchanged, and about a quarter (26%) are unsure.
Notably, most Canadians continue to feel that NAFTA has been good for Canada (49%; +3) and their province (46%; +4), with few feeling it has been bad (16%) – but about two-in-ten are unsure.
Full details in our report: Canadian Views on NAFTA Negotiations, Wave 2