Poll indicates Alabama support for federal trade reform

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The pro-business Main Street Growth & Opportunity Coalition has announced the results of a new poll that purports to show that a steep majority of Alabamians support the Trade Promotion Authority legislation being debated in Congress.

In a news release Tuesday, the group said that 75.6 percent of Alabama residents think the TPA will potentially increase trade exports and create jobs in the state. They also touted the poll’s findings that 62 percent would be more likely to support a candidate for Congress who supported the federal plan.

Cory Brown issued a statement on behalf of Cygnal, the firm that conducted the poll.

“There has been a lot of rhetoric on both sides of the TPA debate, but this poll shows that even voters in reddest-of-red Alabama believe that bipartisan trade reform being pushed by Republican leadership and President Obama will create jobs and increase exports,” said Brown, Cygnal vice president of data and strategy. “Support for TPA was surprisingly even stronger among Democrat and Independent respondents.”

The survey showed bipartisan support for TPA, the release said. It said 68 percent of Republicans were said to support granting the president authority to negotiate trade agreements as TPA provides. Despite significant blowback on the national stage from the left including many Democratic lawmakers, the survey says Alabama Democrats by a nearly 2-to-1 margin want Congress to pass TPA.

The poll also reportedly found that 72 percent of respondents agree that a president — regardless of party — should have the authority to negotiate trade agreements pending congressional approval, a core tenant of TPA legislation.

In Birmingham, 65 percent of respondents stated they want their member of Congress to vote for legislation along the lines of TPA. Of African-American voters 87 percent thought that TPA may create more jobs.