PEI

Number of Islanders trying to steer away from U.S. products 'startling', says pollster

More than two thirds of Prince Edward Islanders are making a conscious effort to purchase more Canadian products in reaction to the U.S.-Canada trade dispute, according to a recent poll by Corporate Research Associates.

'I don't think Atlantic Canadians … like to be bullied'

U.S. tactics in the NAFTA negotiations appear to be rubbing people the wrong way, says Don Mills. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

More than two thirds of Prince Edward Islanders are making a conscious effort to purchase more Canadian products in reaction to the U.S.-Canada trade dispute, according to a recent poll by Corporate Research Associates.

The poll found 69 per cent of Islanders and a similar number of Atlantic Canadians were avoiding U.S. goods. The poll was conducted in the first three weeks of August.

"I thought it was pretty startling to have seven in 10 Atlantic Canadians indicating that they were making a conscious effort to buy more Canadian products at this moment," said CRA chairman and CEO Don Mills.

"I think what it is, I'm speculating on this, but I don't think Atlantic Canadians, or Canadians in general, like to be bullied, and some of the tactics that the U.S. are using in the NAFTA negotiation have rubbed people the wrong way."

Mills said it is too soon to know if this expressed intent of consumers is having an impact, and it is not possible with this single poll to know if this is a trend or a blip.

He intends to poll again in six months to see if there is a developing trend.

Three hundred Islanders were surveyed by phone. Seven per cent of respondents said they didn't have an answer or didn't know.  The P.E.I. results are considered accurate within 5.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin

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