Gallup finds Americans split on tariffs, consider North Korea most critical threat

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People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea  (Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo)

People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea (Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo)

NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

Here are this week’s topics.

Criticism of President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is coming from trading partners, pundits, politicians, and the public.

Most Americans say that foreign trade is an opportunity for economic growth, rather than a threat to the economy and jobs, as evidenced by a new Quinnipiac poll showing that 50 percent oppose — and only 31 percent support — “imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.” Just 26 percent say it will have a positive impact on U.S. jobs, while 36 percent say it will have a negative impact.

U.S. Labor Department numbers out Friday indicate that employers went on a hiring binge last month, adding 313,000 jobs, the most since July 2016, and drawing hundreds of thousands of people into the job market. The influx of new workers kept the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1 percent.

In general support for trade as an opportunity for growth is highest when unemployment is lowest, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, Trump has decided he will meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “by May.”

Americans are worried about North Korea and so most likely think any efforts to deal with the nation that don’t backfire will be a positive step. That’s based on data from last month showing Americans consider North Korea and its nukes the most critical threat to the U.S.; the country is considered the No.1 enemy of the U.S.; and it has the highest unfavorable rating of any country measured.

To hear the full conversation, listen to the audio above.

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