Within the past few years, Americans have been moving towards a more isolationist foreign policy, with 49 percent of people believing that global economic engagement is a bad thing, and 46 percent of people believing that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been detrimental to the U.S. economy. In an attempt to protect parts of the U.S. economy, steel and aluminum tariffs have been imposed by the Trump administration, which the majority of Republicans support. Although this measure was projected to save jobs in the steel and aluminum sector, the measure was also projected have a negative impact in other sectors in every state.
Immigration has also had a significant impact on the rise of nationalism in the United States, and even though 54 percent of people report being dissatisfied with the level of immigration to the U.S., 75 percent say that immigration is a good thing for the country. Immigration policy has become a highly partisan issue, although illegal immigration to the U.S. is declining and the number of naturalizations has been holding steady.
With the rise of nationalism in the United States has also come a rise in hate groups and extremism. In 2018, there were an estimated 1,020 hate groups across the country; the highest figure since 1999. Additionally, the number of domestic extremist-related killings has been on the rise since 2014, reaching a peak with 72 killings in 2016. The vast majority of extremist-related killings in the United States are perpetrated by right-wing extremists, with 78 percent of the perpetrators being affiliated with white supremacy.
The rise of nationalism in the United States and around the world is a troubling development. It is difficult to see what the solution could be, especially since Americans tend not to have a great deal of confidence in organizations besides the military and small businesses. One sign of improvement is that the majority of Americans believe they will be better off in five years than they are now, which will hopefully help to push the country away from the more detrimental aspects of nationalism.