June 15, 2018 4:00 pm
Updated: June 16, 2018 8:58 pm

More Americans side with Justin Trudeau than Donald Trump in trade spat: Ipsos poll

WATCH: Canada-U.S. trade tiff continues

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Most Canadians and Americans approve of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the situation on tariffs, trade and U.S. President Donald Trump.

That’s according to two Ipsos polls, for Global News and Reuters.

The poll comes after Trump’s personal attack on Trudeau over the last few days, amid an escalating trade dispute between Canada and the U.S.

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At a G7 summit wrap-up news conference over the weekend, Justin Trudeau said Canada wouldn’t be “pushed around” by the U.S. amid the tariff dispute on steel and aluminum. The prime minister also said it was “insulting” that Trump would justify his tariffs as a national security issue.

READ MORE: Within minutes, Donald Trump blasts Justin Trudeau, defends Kim Jong Un

Trump then blasted Trudeau in a series of tweets, mid-air on his way to the North Korea summit, calling the prime minister “meek and mild” and “very dishonest and weak.”

One of Trump’s trade advisers even went as far as to say, “there is a special place in hell” for leaders like Justin Trudeau. (The adviser, Peter Navarro, later apologized for his choice of words.)

WATCH: Could Trudeau/Trump spat could hurt Canada/U.S. relations for years to come?

On Tuesday, after Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore for a nuclear summit, he again attacked Trudeau for his comments, saying they would “cost a lot of money for the people of Canada.”

The poll shows that Canadians are firmly on Trudeau’s side — with about three-quarters of respondents (72 per cent) saying they approve of how he’s handling the situation. Only 14 per cent of Canadian respondents said the same about Trump.

As for Americans, 57 per cent of respondents approved of how Canada is handling the dispute — while only 37 per cent said they approved of how Trump was doing.

The survey showed that a large majority of Americans (71 per cent) and Canadians (81 per cent) also believe the trade tiff has damaged the relationship between the two countries and do not want to see the U.S. slap Canada with more tariffs.

Sixty-one per cent of respondents said U.S. elected officials should denounce the statements Trump made about Trudeau, with a majority saying the situation has made them less favourable towards Trump.

Support for NAFTA up from last year

Four out of five Canadians (83 per cent) support Canada being in the North American Free Trade Agreement. That’s up from last year – when 74 per cent of Canadians said the same.

About three-quarters (73 per cent) say they think the agreement has benefited Canada. Again, that’s up from last year when only 56 per cent of respondents said the same.

Pollster Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, said the increased support could be because of the recent trade tariffs and media coverage.

“What the attention has done is given Canadians some sense of what they could potentially lose,” Bricker told Global News. 

Even still, 64 per cent of Canadian respondents say they think renegotiating the deal is a good thing. Only 37 per cent said the same last year.

WATCH: How will the Trudeau-Trump fallout affect NAFTA negotiations?

Just over half (55 per cent) of respondents say they are confident in the governing Liberals’ ability to seal the deal. That’s down six points from last year when 61 per cent said the same.

And 55 per cent of respondents said they were worried that the Trudeau government could push too far, making Trump do something else to hurt the Canadian economy.

Basically, there’s a superficial rallying behind the flag, Bricker explained.

“The interesting thing is … the person is really getting blamed for this is Donald Trump. But at the end of the day Canadians really can’t hold Donald Trump to account,” he said.

“Given that NAFTA is now increasing in importance for Canadians the danger that the prime minister is facing on this file — apart from just standing up to Donald Trump — and making sure that we can have something positive for now after going forward has created real expectations.” 

How Trudeau and Trump are seen

After recent events, 65 per cent of respondents said they had a less favourable view of the U.S. government while 27 per cent said there was no change in how they viewed our southern neighbour.

That number jumps when asked about Trump – 73 per cent of respondents said they viewed him less favourably – 17 per cent said there was no impact on their views because of recent events, and 10 per cent said they had a more favourable view.

As for Trudeau’s popularity – 45 per cent of people said they saw him more favourably, while 31 per cent said there was no impact. About a quarter of Canadian respondents (23 per cent) said they viewed him less favourably.

Canadian Data

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,001 Canadians conducted between June 13 and 15, 2018. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

American Data

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Reuters was an online survey of 1,005 Americans conducted between June 12 and 14, 2018. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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