The most important factor determining the outlook for foreign trade is the status of trade agreements. Public opinion polls have shown that Americans are skeptical in the ability of free trade agreements to benefit employment in the United States. Years of lackluster economic and employment growth following the Recession of 2008 fostered awareness of unfair practices and currency manipulation by some of the U.S.'s trade partners hampering the U.S. economy. This concern became a key issue in the 2016 presidential election.
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