Majority in 33 nations dislike Donald Trump
The world is still skeptical that after nearly three years in office Donald Trump will do the right thing on foreign affairs, according to new polling from the Pew Research Center.
The survey was conducted well before Trump signed off on a US drone strike that killed Qassem Suleimani last week. The strike has pushed tensions between America and its longtime Middle Eastern nemesis to high alert and led to Tehran launching ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases that house American troops.
Majorities of people in many of the 33 nations surveyed by the nonpartisan research center disapprove of a number of the policies that Trump talks about most often, including slapping tariffs on imported goods as a way to gain leverage in trade disputes, withdrawing from international climate change agreements, building a wall on the US-Mexico border and putting tougher restrictions on immigration to the US.
Similarly, across the 33 countries, more people disapprove than approve of Trump’s decision to have the US be the only world power to back out of a nuclear agreement with Iran.
A brighter spot for Trump, however, is the direct negotiations he has had with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. That effort won the most support, though not a majority in most countries surveyed.
Trump and Kim have held three rounds of talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, most recently last year at the demilitarized zone separating North Korea and South Korea.
Sentiment against Trump is common across western Europe, where roughly 75% or more of people in Germany, Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands lack confidence in the US leader.
That feeling runs even deeper in Mexico, where 89% have no confidence in Trump, who has made Mexicans the target of his barbs and anti-immigration policies like the border wall.
But the world isn’t entirely against Trump.
Majorities in Israel, the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria and India have confidence that he will do the right thing on the world stage.
Five leaders were rated in the poll, with Trump receiving the most negative views. Low shares expressed confidence in Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping as well.
Confidence in Germany’s Angela Merkel was the highest among the leaders. Views of France’s Emmanuel Macron were slightly more positive than negative.
Trump, a Republican, treats his relatively low approval on the world stage like a badge of honor. He told supporters during a December campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, that Germany and France like his predecessor, Barack Obama, a Democrat, more than they like him.
“If I ever become more popular that means I’m not doing my job,” he said.
The survey of nearly 37,000 people in the 33 countries was conducted from 18 May to 2 October 2019, based on telephone and face-to-face interviews.