Thursday, June 4, 2020
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WORLD | 08-01-2020 17:16

Just 22% of Argentines believe Trump will do right thing on foreign policy

New survey indicates pessimism over Trump’s leadership is particularly strong in Argentina, with 69% saying they had no confidence the US president would do the right thing in terms of foreign policy.

US President Donald Trump is viewed negatively by the public in many countries, but the image of the United States itself is generally favourable, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed outside the US said they do not have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in foreign affairs, while just 29 percent expressed confidence in the US leader.

In Argentina, pessimism over Trump’s leadership was particularly strong, with 69 percent saying they had no confidence the US president would do the right thing in terms of foreign policy and a low 22 percent saying they did. (For reference, in the third year of Barack Obama’s second term, 40 percent of Argentines believed he would do the right thing in foreign affairs).

By way of contrast, that means Trump ranked lower among Argentines than any of the four other world leaders Pew questioned respondents over: Germany’s Angela Merkel (29 percent), France’s Emmanuel Macron (27 percent), Russia’s Vladimir Putin (30 percent) and China’s Xi Jingping (35 percent).

The survey looked at public opinion in 33 nations and was conducted among 37,000 people between May and October 2019.

Trump performed poorly in Western Europe, Pew said. 

Only 13 percent of those polled in Germany said they had confidence in Trump, 18 percent in Sweden, 20 percent in France, 21 percent in Spain, 25 percent in the Netherlands and Greece and 32 percent in Britain.

In Russia, 20 percent said they have confidence in the US president to do the right thing in world affairs.

In Mexico, 89 percent do not have confidence in Trump, Pew said.

In some countries, the public did express support for Trump: India (56 percent), Nigeria (58 percent), Kenya (65 percent), Israel (71 percent) and the Philippines (77 percent).

There was overall disapproval, however, of some of Trump's signature foreign policy initiatives.

Researchers used the median – the middle value in any list of numbers – to summarise non-US opinion on Trump's performance. 

A median of 68 percent opposed his imposition of tariffs, 66 percent opposed the withdrawal from climate change agreements and 60 percent were against the US-Mexico border wall. 

In Argentina, 68 percent were against tariffs, 63 percent opposed his climate policy shifts and 82 percent opposed the border wall.

Meanwhile, Trump's direct negotiations with North Korea's Kim Jong-un met with 41 percent support and 36 percent disapproval. A much higher 67 percent disapproved with the reach-out to the dictator, with just 18 percent approving of the move.

Pew also asked respondents for their views on other world leaders.

Germany's Angela Merkel received top marks with 46 percent expressing confidence in her leadership, followed by France's Emmanuel Macron (41 percent), Russia's Vladimir Putin (33 percent) and China's Xi Jinping (28 percent).

Overall attitudes towards the United States, however, were favourable, Pew said. Among Argentines, 41 percent had a positive view, with 39 percent responding negatively.

The most positive reviews in Europe came from Poland, where 79 percent said they have a favorable attitude towards the United States, followed by Lithuania (70 percent) and Hungary (66 percent).

The lowest ratings for the United States in Europe came from the Netherlands (46 percent), Sweden (45 percent) and Germany (39 percent).

– TIMES/AFP
 

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