USA Trade and Immigration have never been more popular.
While President Donald Trump may have policies on international goods, services, and even people that are able to enter the country that vary in severity, the speeches he makes about globalization are all spreading a consistent message. President Trump argues that America is suffering from unfair trade deals and being burdened with unproductive immigrants, which are supposedly weakening the economy and taking jobs away from hard working Americans. It is generally assumed that he is tapping into the broad-based backlash against globalization through this rhetoric. The research, however, suggests that the opposite is true; trade and immigration are as popular as they’ve ever been.
The Pew Research Center has been polling Americans about their opinions on trade and business ties with other nations since way back in 2002. The percentage of people who believe these ties are beneficial has never been higher than it was on 2018, and the proportion who believe such ties are somewhat/very good – 74% – has only ever been surpassed once, in 2002. Gallup, meanwhile, has been asking if trade is a chance for the economy to grow or something that damages it since 1992. The proportion indicating it was positive had never risen higher than 56% before 2015. This number reached 72% in 2017 and 70% in February 2018.
Gallup has been conducting surveys about immigration since 1965 as well, asking Americans if they feel there should be less immigration, more immigration, or if immigration rates are just right. The amount of people that want to see an increase in immigration hasn’t been higher, and neither has the proportion of people calling for a decrease ever been lower. Over two-thirds of all Americans polled in June 2018 said that trade and immigration levels should stay where they are or be increased. Asked whether immigrations helped or harmed the economy, most of the people who gave their opinion in 2017 said they felt that immigration helped more than hurt. That was the first – not to mention only – time that the positive answer was the majority since the question was asked the first time back in 1993.
The increase in partisanship could be expected to have influenced opinions about globalisation. The evidence is a bit mixed on this idea. Surveys appear to show little difference between the opinions of Republicans and Democrats when it comes to foreign trade – Republicans have always been of the belief it improves the economy, and Democrats are beginning to agree. When it comes to immigration though, the differing parties began holding different views up to a decade ago. Back in 2006, the Republicans and Democrats were practically indistinguishable when it came to their opinions on whether or not immigration was good for the country. Since then, Democrats have become slowly more pro-immigration as Republicans begin to become more opposed.
The role that partisanship plays on how particular policies are viewed has become more pronounced in recent years. Republican voters of 2009 were more supportive of free trade agreements than Democrats, but this support collapsed in 2016. While the Pew polls from July of this year suggested that 49% of all Americans believed increased tariffs would be bad for the economy compared to the 40% who believed it could be good, a majority of Republicans were in favor of tariff increases.
The closer that survey questions approached a specific policy, the more likely it was for the answer to be driven by partisan loyalty. However, the answers to questions that are more generally about globalization don’t suggest that the majority of Americans are moving towards economic isolation. If anything, they would show that the reverse is true. The policies against globalization in the United States aren’t based on any kind of popular revolt; if anything, it is powered by pandering to a minority; a dwindling one at that.
Trade and Immigration is here to stay and you can be part of it all, just apply for Green Card and move to United States.