Jan 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pew: Across 33 countries, 64% of people have no confidence in Trump

Trump between Erdogan and MBS
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L), President Donald Trump (C) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at the G20 summit. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

64% of people worldwide said they do not have confidence in President Trump to do the right thing on the global stage, while only 29% said they trust him, according to a Pew survey of 36,923 respondents conducted in 33 countries.

Why it matters: The world is watching as tensions between the U.S. and Iran flare in the wake of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani — threatening an all-out war that could further destabilize the Middle East. Amid other global threats, North Korea has also abandoned a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons testing after negotiations with the U.S. broke down.

By the numbers: Roughly 75% of people throughout Germany, Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands said they do not trust Trump's decision-making in world affairs.

  • Anti-Trump sentiment was strongest in Mexico, where 89% said they lack confidence in the U.S. president.

Yes, but: Overall, 54% of people polled in those 33 countries held a favorable opinion of the United States, while 38% had an unfavorable one.

  • Trump also has pockets of support in places like Israel, where 74% supported his decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Between the lines: Pew reported that the lack of trust largely stems from opposition to the president's polices.

  • 68% across the nations polled said they disagreed with the U.S. increasing tariffs on imports.
  • 66% opposed the Trump administration’s withdrawal from international climate agreements.
  • 60% disapprove of Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Of note: Trump had the lowest confidence marks among Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Emmanuel Macron, Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping.

  • Trump received higher favorability among people who expressed positive views of right-wing populist parties in Europe, like France's National Front and Germany's AfD.
  • Supporters of those parties were more likely to have a positive view of Trump's specific policies, such as increasing restrictions on immigration.

Methodology: Pew conducted this survey across 33 countries from May 18 to Oct. 2, 2019, totaling 36,923 respondents.

  • The surveys were conducted face-to-face across Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia and on the phone in the North America and East Asia.
  • Across Europe, the survey was conducted over the phone in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK, but face-to-face in Central and Eastern Europe, Italy, Ukraine and Russia.

Go deeper: Where the U.S. ranks as a top ally — or top threat — around the world

Go deeper