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Majority Of Global Poll Respondents Find Trump Arrogant, Dangerous

A new poll from the Pew Research Center has found that Donald Trump's presidency is strongly and negatively impacting how the rest of the world views the United States.

At the end of Barack Obama's term, 64 percent of global respondents said they were confident in the U.S. president, compared to 22 percent now. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said they have no confidence in Trump.

Compared to the final years of Obama's presidency, Trump received higher ratings in just two of the 37 countries surveyed – Russia and Israel.

The Trump administration is aiming to improve relations with Russia. The president has also expressed a desire to help mediate a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, while his policies have also appeared to embolden settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

"The sharp decline in how much global publics trust the U.S. president on the world stage is especially pronounced among some of America's closest allies in Europe and Asia, as well as neighboring Mexico and Canada," the report states.

The negative perceptions of the U.S. president appear to be impacting U.S. favorability ratings in general. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed had favorable views of the U.S. at the end of the Obama presidency, compared to 49 percent now.

Arrogant, intolerant and dangerous — these are all traits that a sizeable majority of global respondents said describe the U.S. president. On the other hand, 55 percent see him as a strong leader, while 39 percent say that he is charismatic.

Only about one in four people stated that they found Trump "well-qualified to be president" and "caring about ordinary people."

The survey asked about five of the Trump administration's signature policy proposals — withdrawing from the Iran deal, restricting travelers from some Muslim-majority countries, withdrawing from climate change and trade agreements, and building a wall along the border with Mexico. It found that all of these positions are unpopular globally.

It's worth noting that Americans as a people remain popular, and "a median of 58% say they have a favorable impression of Americans." Global respondents also tend to like U.S. popular culture, such as television and music, by a wide margin.

Despite the drop in U.S. favorability ratings, most countries expect their relationship with the U.S. to stay about the same.

However, those who expect the relationship to change tend to be pessimistic. "In most regions of the world, the share of the public that believes things will worsen outweighs the share that thinks relations will improve by a ratio of two-to-one," the report states.

Poll results in Mexico show some of the most dramatic drops in confidence for the U.S. president — from 49 percent under Obama to 5 percent under Trump. Building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico was a central platform of Trump's campaign.

The report also asked people around the world for their opinions on three other leaders: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

At 74 percent no confidence, Trump had the largest share of negative ratings. Xi and Putin also received mostly negative responses, with 53 and 59 percent respectively. Merkel was viewed the most positively, with 31 percent saying no confidence and 42 saying they have confidence in her.

The report adds that global favorability ratings for the U.S. were also low during surveys during George W. Bush's presidency, and saw increases after Barack Obama took office.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.