Trump trusted less than Putin and Xi, says new study

Hugh Fox
October 5, 2018

Negative views of Trump were widespread in many traditional American allies, with 90 percent of both Germans and French having no confidence or not too much confidence in Trump.

"[The 15-year-old poll] has been a really interesting story", said Pew Director of Global Attitudes Research Richard Wike on Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. "However, a median of only 27% say they have confidence in President Trump to do the right thing in world affairs; 70% lack confidence in him". French President Emmanuel Macron was second with a 46 percent rating.

The poll summary explained, "As has been the case in recent years, around eight-in-ten Israelis express a favorable opinion about the U.S. At 52%, Israelis are more likely than any other public surveyed to say the doing more to address global problems than a few years ago".

It said Trump's worldwide image remains poor, while ratings for the United States have tumbled to depths much lower than during Barack Obama's presidency.

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With the USA seen as stumbling on major issues, many nations have begun to look at China as a potential global powerbroker. Views of both the U.S. and its president fell in Russian Federation, where Trump's approval plunged to 19% from 53% amid disputes over Syria, economic sanctions and allegations of election-meddling.

There were some bright spots for the USA, with residents of Israel, the Philippines and South Korea registering overwhelmingly positive attitudes toward America.

One country where Trump continued to receive mass support is Israel, where confidence has increased sharply since 2017.

The poll also comes just one week after Trump and other world leaders gathered in NY for the U.N. General Assembly. 70 percent said they did not.

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In most countries, a majority said they had no confidence in Trump.

China's rising power "is something that registering with average citizens around the world pretty clearly", Wike said. Trump has adopted explicitly nationalistic trade and foreign policies, and he has often complained that the rest of the world has been taking advantage of the United States or has relied for too long on a US security umbrella with little or no compensation. Among the 25 nations surveyed, a median of 31 percent said the USA plays a more important role in the world today than it did 10 years ago; 25 percent said it plays a less important role; and 35 percent believe the as important as it was a decade ago.

Despite the plunge, on balance a median of 50% of respondents across the nations surveyed had a favourable opinion of the United States, compared with 43% whose views were negative.

Allies took a dim view of the Trump administration's position on civil liberties, with majorities in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and Mexico saying the government did not respect the personal freedoms of its people.

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The survey was conducted between May and August, and based on interviews with over 900 people in each of the surveyed countries.

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