Wed, Jun 28, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Scant global confidence in Trump: poll

FOREIGN AFFAIRS:A median of 22 percent of people were confident that Trump would do the right thing internationally, compared with 64 percent for Obama


The reviews from around the globe are in and they show scant confidence outside the US in US President Donald Trump’s ability to do the right thing on international affairs, with fewer than three in 10 respondents expressing confidence, according to a Pew Research Center survey of attitudes toward Trump in more than three dozen countries.

Most of those surveyed also disapprove of Trump’s major policies, including his promise to erect a physical wall along the border between the US and Mexico, and temporarily halting travel from six mostly Muslim countries.

In terms of personal traits, more than half see the US president as a strong leader, but that positive view is outweighed by larger majorities who describe the real estate developer and former reality TV star as arrogant, intolerant or dangerous.

Among the 37 countries Pew surveyed, Trump scored higher marks than his predecessor, former US president Barack Obama, in two: Russia and Israel.

Pew has produced this survey annually since 2002, starting with the first term of former US president George W. Bush.

The edition released late on Monday is the first conducted since Trump took office in January.

According to the survey, a median of 22 percent across all the countries surveyed expressed confidence that Trump will do the right thing when it comes to international affairs.

The 22 percent rating marks a steep drop from the closing years of Obama’s presidency, when a median of 64 percent expressed confidence in Obama’ ability to direct the US’ role in the world.

Trump’s largest base of support comes from Filipinos, 69 percent of whom say they have confidence in him. Nations in which more than half of the public offers positive opinions of Trump include Nigeria and Vietnam, 58 percent each; Israel, 56 percent and Russia, 53 percent.

The results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted among 40,447 people in 37 countries in all regions of the world between Feb. 16 and May 8.

Bush’s ratings fell after the US invaded Iraq in 2003 and never fully recovered in some countries. Across 26 nations that Pew surveyed near the end of Bush’s term, a median of only 27 percent had confidence in Bush’s ability to handle international affairs.

Ratings for the US’ president rose in 2009 after Obama took office. There was a dip in confidence in some countries that coincided with Obama’s increased use of drone strikes and a US National Security Agency spying scandal, but Obama enjoyed a median confidence rating of 64 percent across 37 countries surveyed near the end of his second term.

The survey found widespread disapproval of some of Trump’s major policies.

The promised US-Mexico border wall is opposed by a median of 76 percent across the 37 countries, rising to 94 percent in Mexico.

More than seven in 10 disagree with Trump’s proposals to pull the US out of a landmark climate change agreement and withdraw from multinational trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump has pulled the US out of both agreements, although the survey was conducted before his June 2 announcement on exiting the Paris climate accord.

More than 60 percent disapprove of Trump’s proposal for a temporary ban on people entering the US from certain majority Muslim countries.

More than half the respondents in four countries — Hungary, Israel, Poland and Russia — support the proposal. Opposition was strong in several largely Muslim countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Senegal.

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