Trans-Pacific View | Diplomacy

Survey: Confidence in Trump Remains Low Globally

A new survey of global attitudes finds that the U.S. president remains unpopular worldwide.

Ankit Panda
Survey: Confidence in Trump Remains Low Globally
Credit: Flickr/ White House

Global public opinion on U.S. President Donald Trump remains low, a new set of surveys by the Pew Research Center published this week found. Sixty-four percent of respondents across 32 countries surveyed by Pew said that they had “no confidence” in Trump.

Even as views of Trump are poor, the United States itself is viewed largely favorably among the countries surveyed. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they viewed the United States favorably.

In the Asia-Pacific, only in India and the Philippines did more than half of respondents express confidence in Trump. In India, 56 percent of respondents expressed confidence while 77 percent did in the Philippines, which is one of the most pro-American countries worldwide.

Respondents in both India and the Philippines, according to Pew, expressed more confidence in Trump to do ”the right thing regarding world affairs” over Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In U.S. allies Japan and South Korea, confidence in Trump remained low. Thirty-six percent of Japanese and 46 percent of South Korean respondents expressed confidence in the U.S. president. Australia, another Asia-Pacific U.S. ally, also saw confidence in Trump at a fairly low 35 percent.

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Indonesia, the other Asia-Pacific state surveyed by Pew, reported the lowest confidence in Trump of all six regional states surveyed at just 30 percent. Indonesian respondents rated Merkel, Macron, Putin, and Xi marginally better than Trump, but no leader saw more than 35 percent confidence.

According to Pew, support for Trump is correlated in a partisan way in some countries. The latest survey found that “support for Trump has increased somewhat on the ideological right in many nations.” Most of these countries, however, appear to be outside of Asia.

On specific issues, most Asia-Pacific countries surveyed by Pew disapproved of Trump’s policy preferences. However, on immigration, a slight majority in India — 35 percent against 34 percent — said they approved of the U.S. administration’s policy of “allowing fewer immigrants into” the country.

One area where Trump’s policy won wide support from many U.S. allies was his outreach to North Korea in 2018. Seventy-eightpercent of South Koreans and 80 percent of Japanese said they approved of the U.S. president’s “negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about the country’s nuclear weapons program.”

In South Korea, approval of Trump’s outreach to North Korea varied by political partisan identity. “Majorities among people on the left and right approve of this policy, although people on the left end of the political spectrum are more supportive,” the survey found.