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Americans Support More Tariffs for Chinese Imports, Ban on TikTok: Reuters-Ipsos Polls

Published: August 16, 2023
In this photo illustration, the social media application logo for TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a US flag and Chinese flag background in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2023. (Image: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

According to recent Reuters/Ipsos polls, a majority of Americans believe the United States should levy additional tariffs on the communist country and nearly half of Americans support a complete ban of the Chinese video streaming app, TikTok.

A two-day poll that concluded on Aug. 15 revealed concerns among Americans that China’s global influence is a detriment to the United States. 

The poll found that “bipartisan majorities of Americans favor more tariffs on Chinese goods and believe that the United States needs to step up preparations for military threats from [China],” Reuters reported. 

A clear majority of respondents, 66 percent, said they were more likely to back a candidate in the 2024 presidential election who “supports additional tariffs on Chinese imports.” 

Responses were bipartisan, with 58 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans agreeing with the statement that the U.S. “needs to do more to prepare for military threats from China.” 

Some 75 percent of Americans hold a negative view toward China, and 84 percent regard China’s leader, Xi Jinping, “slightly unfavorably” or worse, the poll found.

Many Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley have called for the U.S. to permanently end normal trade relations with China.

However, the poll found that just 38 percent of Americans support the deployment of U.S. troops to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by Communist China. 

“While half of respondents supported aiding Taiwan with military equipment to deter a possible Chinese attack, 42% opposed deploying U.S. troops in Taiwan’s defense, and 20% said they didn’t know,” Reuters wrote.  


TikTok on the chopping block

Another Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that close to half of American adults support a complete ban of the Chinese owned and operated short video streaming app TikTok.

“Some 47% of respondents to the two-day poll, which concluded on Tuesday, said they at least somewhat supported ‘banning the social media application, TikTok, from use in the United States,’ while 36% opposed a ban and 17% said they didn’t know,” Reuters reported.

The survey revealed deep worries among Americans about China’s global influence at a time when Sino-U.S. relations have fallen to their lowest point in decades. 

In March, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the Chinese government could use TikTok to control software on millions of devices and drive narratives to divide Americans, adding that the app “screams” of national security concerns. 

In agreement are other high-ranking U.S. officials including CIA Director William Burns, who also says the app poses a threat to American national security.

Of course, operators of TikTok have denied the allegations with one spokesperson telling Reuters, “We’ve taken unprecedented actions to safeguard protected U.S. user data, and we will continue working to build a safe, secure, and inclusive platform to ensure the positive experience of our users in every corner of the country.”

Legislation, seeking to ban the app, has recently stalled in Congress as lawmakers take time to consider changes to the legislation to address some concerns. 

The issue may become an election one for Republicans in the 2024 presidential campaign, as candidates are split on whether or not to ban the app.

Reuters contributed to this report.