Jan 8, 2020

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

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

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Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.