Here are some Gallup poll numbers on Americans' feelings about trade:
Of course, the question is terribly phrased. It contrasts "growth through exports" with a "threat from imports." It has mercantilism embedded in it!
But nevertheless, the most recent polling is kind of surprising. The support for trade increased substantially -- more than 10 percentage points!
So why the change?
That latest polling was done from Feb 7-10 this year. My best guess about the change is that the recent talk of a trade agreement with Europe has people thinking more positively about trade. Trade with Europe is much less scary than trade with China.
Could that be it? Possibly, although the Europe proposal has been fairly recent, and I didn't think most people had noticed it.