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Scant global confidence in Trump on foreign affairs — poll

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By Associated Press

The reviews from around the globe are in and they show scant confidence outside the United States in President Donald Trump’s ability to do the right thing on international affairs, with fewer than 3 in 10 respondents expressing confidence, according to a Pew Research Center survey of attitudes toward Trump in more than three dozen countries.

Most of those surveyed also disapprove of Trump’s major policies, including his promise to erect a physical wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and temporarily halting travel from six mostly Muslim countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the shootings in Alexandria, Virginia, from the White House in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque | Manila Bulletin

U.S. President Donald Trump
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque | Manila Bulletin File Photo)

In terms of personal traits, more than half see the U.S. president as a strong leader, but that positive view is outweighed by larger majorities who describe the real estate developer and former reality TV star as arrogant, intolerant or dangerous.

Among the 37 countries Pew surveyed, Trump scored higher marks than his predecessor, President Barack Obama, in two: Russia and Israel.

Pew has produced this survey annually since 2002, starting with the first term of George W. Bush. The edition released late Monday is the first conducted since Trump took office in January.

According to the survey, a median of 22 percent across all the countries surveyed expressed confidence that Trump will do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. That means that if the results from each country are ranked in order, 22 percent is the midpoint, with the percentage expressing confidence in Trump falling above or below that point in equal numbers of countries.

The 22 percent rating marks a steep drop from the closing years of Obama’s presidency, when a median of 64 percent expressed confidence in Obama’ ability to direct America’s role in the world.

Trump’s largest base of support comes from Filipinos, 69 percent of whom say they have confidence in him. Nations in which more than half of the public offers positive opinions of Trump include Nigeria and Vietnam, 58 percent each; Israel, 56 percent and Russia, 53 percent.

The results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted among 40,447 respondents in 37 countries in all regions of the world between Feb. 16 and May 8.

The survey found widespread disapproval of some of Trump’s major policies. The promised U.S.-Mexico border wall is opposed by a median of 76 percent across the 37 countries, rising to 94 percent in Mexico.

More than 7 in 10 disagree with Trump’s proposals to pull the U.S. out of a landmark climate change agreement and withdraw from multinational trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump has pulled the U.S. out of both agreements, although the survey was conducted before his June 2 announcement on exiting the Paris climate accord.

More than 60 percent disapprove of Trump’s proposal for a temporary ban on people entering the U.S. from certain majority Muslim countries. More than half the respondents in four countries — Hungary, Israel, Poland and Russia — support the proposal. Opposition was strong in several largely Muslim countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Senegal.

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