(CN) – Most people around the globe don’t trust President Donald Trump to do the right thing when it comes to foreign affairs, according to a survey released Wednesday, but they do have positive overall views of the United States.
Notably, the survey was conducted prior to Trump’s approval of a drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last week, which resulted in retaliatory missile strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq early Wednesday.
The Pew Research Center survey of 37,000 adults from 33 countries via phone and face-to-face interviews found that 64% of respondents lacked confidence in Trump to do the right thing on the global stage and only 29% had confidence in him. However, a 54% majority held a favorable view of the U.S. as a whole.
While citizens of most countries showed low trust in Trump near or below the average, a handful of countries saw the opposite results.
People from the Philippines, India, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria and Poland indicated majority support for the U.S. president at 77%, 56%, 71%, 65%, 58% and 51%, respectively.
By contrast, only 8% of Mexicans said they were confident in Trump’s ability to handle world affairs. When he announced his campaign in June 2015, the president referred to Mexican immigrants as criminals and has pressured Mexico to pay for a wall along the southern border.
Pew researchers went into more detail on international support for Trump's foreign policy initiatives. They found that respondents were largely disapproving of most of his actions, including levying tariffs, withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement, building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, restricting immigration and pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement.
Each of these saw more than 50% disapproval among those surveyed. The only policy exception is U.S. negotiations with North Korea, which had 41% approval and 36% disapproval among the international respondents.
Trump has, however, seen a boost in support from those who Pew characterized as the ideological right in various countries between 2018 and 2019. For example, the ideological right in Hungary and Spain both showed a 22% spike in support for Trump over that period.
In Hungary, right-wing support for Trump's foreign policy choices rose from 35% to 57%. In Spain, right-wing support jumped from 9% to 31%.
The trend was also seen among respondents who backed right-wing populist parties in various countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Germany and Italy.
Israel was the most divided along ideological lines. An 86% majority of conservative Israelis supported Trump, compared to just 37% on the left – a 49% difference.
Despite growing right-wing support internationally, President Trump garnered the least confidence among leaders of major developed countries. Compared to his 29% confidence rating, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had 46% while French President Emmanuel Macron came in second at 41%.
One-third of respondents said they had confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin, compared to 28% for Chinese President Xi Jinping. While Xi’s confidence rating is 1 point lower than Trump’s, 64% said they had no confidence in Trump, compared to 43% for Xi.
While a slim majority held positive opinions about the U.S. as a whole, 38% viewed the country unfavorably.
Citizens of the Netherlands and Sweden were majority unfavorable at 52% and 51%, respectively, but their favorable indications were not far behind at 46% and 45%, respectively.
In contrast, 57% of Germans viewed the U.S. unfavorably, compared to 39% who said the opposite. Russian and Turkish respondents were the least favorable to the U.S. at 60% and 73% unfavorable, respectively.
The survey data portrays the U.S. as a nation facing mixed feelings from the rest of the world under Trump’s leadership, particularly when political ideology came into play. Though most international respondents viewed the president unfavorably, right-wing factions in allied countries indicated more support for him.Follow @@jMESSpalmer
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