APF Canada Releases 2018 National Opinion Poll: Canadian Views on Asia

VANCOUVER, BC – June 5, 2018 The anti-trade and anti-immigration policies pushed by the current United States administration have reinforced Canadians’ concerns about the global trend of protectionism. According to the findings of a new national opinion poll released today by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, there is an inverse correlation between perceptions of a worsening Canada-U.S. relationship and increased public support for further diversifying Canada’s economic engagement with the Asia Pacific.  

This is just one of the key findings of APF Canada’s National Opinion Poll: Canadian Views on Asia, which for 14 years has examined Canadian opinions and attitudes toward Canada’s engagement with Asia. In our 2018 poll, we continue to see growing optimism about Asia and Canada’s place in the Asia Pacific, as well as increased support for economic integration.

Despite the widespread optimism, however, questions do remain in the minds of Canadians as to whether the overall economic benefits of deepened engagement will outweigh perceived threats to Canadian values as they relate to the environment, democracy, and human rights.

“The global trading system is in a state of upheaval as Canada continues to navigate free-trade talks with not only the U.S., but also China, India and ASEAN,” said APF Canada President and CEO, Stewart Beck. “Against this backdrop, the results of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s 2018 National Opinion Poll come at a critical time for Canada-Asia relations.

“This year’s polling results clearly indicate that Canadians recognize the increasing significance of the Asia Pacific to Canada’s future relevance and prosperity and believe Canada should pursue improved economic benefits,” added Beck. “But Canadians believe their government should not do so at the expense of core Canadian values. Striking that balance will be the key to the formulation of Canada’s long-term Asia strategy.”

Highlights of the 2018 NOP: Canadian Views on Asia include:

  • 43% of Canadians consider Canada as part of the Asia Pacific region, up from 34% in 2016 and from 18% in 2013.
  • 59% of Canadians believe trade with Asia will outweigh trade with the U.S. in the future.
  • 80% of Canadians depict a worsening relationship with the U.S.
  • 71% of Canadians agree that “the growing importance of India as an economic power is more of an opportunity than a threat” (up from 50% in 2014).
  • 60% agree with the same statement about China (up from 41% in 2014).
  • 53% of Canadians are concerned that Canada will fall behind international competitors in gaining market access.
  • 80% of Canadians say the government should help startups gain access to Asian markets.
  • Support for FTAs with India (66%), ASEAN (63%), and China (59%), respectively, has increased significantly from less than 40% support for all three economies in 2014.
  • More than 40% of Canadians believe that ‘progressive’ elements should be included in FTAs with Asian economies. 

The full poll results are available at www.asiapacific.ca

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About the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada:

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) has been a leader in research and analysis on Canada’s relations with Asia for more than three decades. Our mission is to be Canada's catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia's bridge to Canada. We do this by offering clear, specific, and actionable policy advice and leadership based on sound research and analysis.

Established by an Act of Parliament in 1984, APF Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada’s expertise in offering solutions to Asia’s climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians’ general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

Visit APF Canada at www.asiapacific.ca

For media information please contact:

Michael Roberts
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Office: 604-630-1527