By the Numbers
of U.S. thought leaders think the primary economic goal for the United States should be to encourage China to abide by its international commitments.
of U.S. thought leaders believe the United States should encourage China to become a free market economy
Overall, only 14% of thought leaders believe the United States should encourage China to become a free market economy. This suggests a marked change in how thought leaders think about U.S. economic policy today compared with a decade ago, when reform and convergence with China’s economy was a priority in U.S. policy.
Among business leaders in finance, 36% think the United States should encourage China to become a free market economy—the most among all the different thought leader groups. This may reflect a greater commitment to free-market views among economists and that the Phase One trade deal reached by the administration with China included greater market access pledges.
The emphasis on pressuring China to honor its commitments and international rules in this result squares with the earlier result showing that thought leaders overwhelmingly favor using multilateral rules to pressure China to change its economic policies.