Wednesday, January 22, 2020

56 percent Indians trust US President Trump in world affairs but disapprove tariff increase, immigration policy

Syed Junaid Hashmi

JAMMU, Jan 9: 64 percent across 32 countries have no confidence in Donald Trump, President of United States of America (USA), to do the right thing in world affairs but India is an exception where trump has sixth highest approval ratings.

Of the 29 percent people in the 32 countries surveyed by PEW research centre, 56 percent Indians trust Donald Trump for doing right thing in the world affairs. Of the 32 countries, approval ratings of Donald Trump are more than 50 percent in six countries. They include Philippines (77 percent), Israel (71 percent), Kenya (65 percent), Nigeria (58 percent), India (56 percent) and Poland (51 percent).

Ratings for U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of world affairs are largely negative around the world, and opinions on this matter have remained relatively stable since he took office in 2017. But India is an exception alongwith five other countries surveyed by Pew. However, Indians have no confidence in trump when it comes to his policies of the U.S. increasing tariffs or fees on imported goods from other countries, the U.S. withdrawal from international climate change agreements, and the U.S. building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

48 percent Indians have disapproved Donald Trump’s policy of the U.S. increasing tariffs or fees on imported goods from other countries. 36 percent Indians have disapproved Trump administration’s intent to withdraw from international climate change agreements. 33 percent Indians have disapproved of building a wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico but those supporting this more are around 30 percent.

Another interesting thing to note in the survey is approval of the trump’s immigration policy by 34 percent Indians and disapproval by just 1 percent more i.e. 35 percent. 33 percent Indians disapproved

of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear weapons agreement (also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), which was signed in 2015 by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, known as the P5+1.

60 percent Indians have said that they like the U.S. (29 percent in India also offer no opinion). Anti-Trump sentiments are especially common in Western Europe: Roughly three-in-four or more lack confidence in Trump in Germany, Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands. He also gets especially poor reviews in Mexico, where 89% do not have confidence in him.

In nearly all nations where trends are available, Trump receives lower ratings than his predecessor, Barack Obama. As reported by the Center in 2017, international confidence in the U.S. president plummeted after Trump’s inauguration, while favorable ratings for the United States also declined.

The current survey finds an uptick in some countries since 2018 in ratings for President Trump and the U.S., though the degree of change varies from modest to solidly positive. At least two plausible factors may be behind these shifts. First, support for Trump has increased somewhat on the ideological right in many nations. Second, some of the changes could be influenced by modifications in how the 2019 survey was administered (see sidebar below).

Again, on balance, foreign publics lack confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to world affairs. The survey, conducted in spring and summer 2019, finds that the lack of confidence in the 45th U.S. president is driven in part by opposition to his policies. A median of 68% across the nations polled say they disapprove of the U.S. increasing tariffs on imported goods; a median of 66% oppose the Trump administration’s withdrawal from international climate agreements; and 60% disapprove of Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Most also dislike the current administration’s tighter restrictions on immigration and its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear weapons agreement. Trump’s approach to North Korea is the only policy position tested that is viewed favorably on balance, with a median of 41% saying they approve and 36% disapproving.

Trump does find pockets of support. There are six nations where roughly half or more voice confidence in his handling of world affairs. About seven-in-ten have confidence in Trump in Israel, where 74% endorse his decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and 66% back his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. In Ukraine, just under half (46%) rate the U.S. president positively.

In five of the eight European countries where U.S. image has improved between 2018 and 2019 – France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands and Spain – there were significant increases in favorable views of the U.S. among people on the right of the ideological spectrum. For instance, 67% of Greeks who say they are on the right ideologically have a favorable opinion of the U.S., while just 40% held that view in 2018.


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