Xi and Putin are more trusted than Trump in world affairs, global Pew survey shows

  • President Trump inspires less confidence among the public than Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin, an international poll by the Pew Research Center published Monday showed.
  • The poll of 25 countries found that just 27 percent of respondents, on average, have confidence in President Trump to "do the right thing regarding world affairs."
  • Thirty percent of respondents trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin to do the right thing with Trump trailing behind, scoring 27 percent.

President Trump inspires less confidence among the public than Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin, an international poll by the Pew Research Center published Monday showed.

The poll of 25 countries found that just 27 percent of respondents, on average, have confidence in President Trump to "do the right thing regarding world affairs."

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Sasha Mordovets | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping

In contrast, 52 percent of respondents said they had confidence in German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "do the right thing" in global affairs. Her German counterpart Emmanuel Macron scored 46 percent, followed by Xi Jinping at 34 percent.

Thirty percent of respondents trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin to do the right thing with Trump trailing behind, scoring 27 percent.

The non-partisan, Washington-based think tank Pew surveyed 26,112 respondents in 25 countries from mid-May to mid-August. It said its latest survey showed that international citizens have expressed "significant concerns about America's role in world affairs."

"Large majorities say the U.S. doesn't consider the interests of countries like theirs when making foreign policy decisions," Pew said in its report.

"Many believe the U.S. is doing less to help solve major global challenges than it once did. And there are signs that American soft power is waning as well: While the U.S. maintains its reputation for respecting individual liberty, fewer believe this than a decade ago," Pew remarked.

'America First'

Since his election in November 2016, Trump has ripped up the rule book when it comes to international diplomacy, either implementing – or threatening – import tariffs on goods coming from some of the U.S.'s long-standing allies like Europe, neighbors such as Mexico and Canada, and trading partners like China.

Given such policies, the lowest confidence scores in Trump were seen, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Mexico, where confidence in Trump was a low 6 percent and in European countries like France (9 percent) and Germany (10 percent).

Frustrations with the U.S. in the Trump era are particularly common among some of America's closest allies and partners, Pew noted.

"In Germany, three-in-four people say the U.S. is doing less these days to address global problems, and the share of the public who believe the U.S. respects personal freedoms is down 35 percentage points since 2008. In France, only 9 percent have confidence in Trump, while 81 percent think the U.S. doesn't consider the interests of countries like France when making foreign policy decisions," the think tank noted.

Critical views are also widespread among America's closest neighbors. Only 25 percent of Canadians rated Trump positively while more than six-in-ten (63 percent) said the U.S. is doing less than in the past to address global problems, and 82 percent think the U.S. ignores Canada's interests when making policy.

The survey was completed before a new trilateral trade deal between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico was announced Monday.

Despite trouble abroad, Trump's "America First" policy, and subsequent import tariffs, have proved popular among many voters at home who are concerned about their livelihoods and the perceived threat of cheaper foreign imports and manufacturing. Trump's approval ratings are being closely watched, however, having fallen in recent months.