Sean Heather Sean Heather
Senior Vice President, International Regulatory Affairs & Antitrust, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Published

July 21, 2022

Share

A new poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce confirms what most people probably sense already: the American people want Congress to fight inflation and to avoid new regulations that could raise prices even higher.

In a national survey of 1,219 likely voters, with a ±2.86% margin of error, the Chamber examined American attitudes towards antitrust legislation and the government’s role in the market.  Axis Research, which conducted the poll, found that likely voters are hyper-focused on the economy and inflation – and that they worry that government intervention in the market would lead to even higher prices.

Large majorities of likely voters want Congress to focus like a laser beam on inflation:

  • 64% are concerned about where the economy is headed. 
  • 58% of voters want Congress to focus on the economy/inflation.  Other priorities pale by comparison: Abortion (7%), Climate Change (6%), Healthcare (6%), Immigration (5%), and Crime (5%). 
  • When it comes to regulating companies, 54% of voters think the government should prioritize lowering prices for consumers, while only 16% think they should prioritize keeping businesses from getting too big.  

Moreover, most likely voters worry that new tech regulations could actually raise prices even higher:

  • 67% of voters believe more government regulation of companies will increase prices on consumers. 

Likely voters also want Congress to avoid regulations that could threaten the services they need and love:

  • 70% of voters would strongly oppose or somewhat oppose antitrust regulation that impacts services they rely on daily, with 51% suggesting they may be inclined to vote against those who support antitrust regulation.    
  • Voters place high value from things that are threatened by antitrust regulation, including:
  • Google Maps embedded in search results — 85% 
  • Free shipping via Amazon Prime — 82% 
  • App stores on phones — 74% 
  • Knowing apps have been vetted for security and viruses — 88% 

Indeed, outside of the Beltway, likely voters have almost no interest in changing the antitrust laws to go after tech companies:

  • Just 1% of likely voters think Congress should prioritize regulating technology companies. 
  • When asked what should be done about tech regulation, only 5% support more regulation on big tech, 4% supported breaking up large tech companies, and only 3% supported limiting large tech firms from growing further. 

Finally, and in light of skyrocketing gas prices and food prices, Americans do not believe that “government knows best” and do not want to empower bureaucrats to micromanage the economy:

  • 88% of likely voters agree that competition in the market means consumers get to select the best products and services that are offered at the best prices. 
  • 81% of likely voters believe that market competition, not government regulation, is the fuel of American innovation. 
  • Only 32% believed that government regulators should play a larger role in determining which products and services are allowed to compete in the marketplace. 

The message to Congress is clear: keep your hands off our beloved tech products and instead focus on fighting inflation. The only real question is, will Congress listen?

About the authors

Sean Heather

Sean Heather

Senior Vice President, International Regulatory Affairs & Antitrust, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Sean Heather is Senior Vice President for International Regulatory Affairs & Antitrust.

Read more