Global confidence in Trump lower than for China’s Xi, poll shows

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Ahead of the second anniversary of U.S. President Donald Trump's election, Japanese trust in the American leader has suffered, but the overall image of the United States has not amid the rise of China, according to a new 25-nation survey.

Though the research focused on a smaller number of countries this year, the results suggested a similarly low global approval rating for Trump - a median of 70 percent said they had no confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, while 27 percent said they had confidence.

Since assuming office in early 2017, Trump has pursued a nationalist America First foreign policy that has led many to question his commitment to the global community and historically close alliances.

Around the world, "ratings were generally at historic lows, with views of Washington dim - and falling - in many nations which are key allies of the US", reported the Times of Israel, including Germany (30 per cent favourability) and France (38 per cent).

In Canada, whose prime minister, Justin Trudeau, Trump has called "disonhest and weak", only 39% of respondents had a positive view of the U.S., down from 65% at the end of the Obama presidency. Mexico inched up slightly to 32 per cent.

The Pew survey was a bad one overall for the US, with only three countries - Russia, Kenya and Israel - showing an improvement in attitudes toward the USA since 2016.

Both Trump and Putin lagged behind Xi, who came in at 34 percent.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the only leader in which a majority of those surveyed, 52 percent, expressed confidence. While 63 percent said they preferred USA leadership to Chinese, a plurality of 34 percent that the US was stepping back its involvement overseas and 70 percent said that China has played a greater part in global affairs in the past decade. About half of all respondents said the two European leaders inspired them with confidence. Among the 25 nations surveyed, a median of 31 percent said the US plays a more important role in the world today than it did 10 years ago; 25 percent said it plays a less important role; and 35 percent believe the as important as it was a decade ago.

Trump had a higher confidence rating only in the Philippines, where 78% of respondents viewed the president favorably.

Attitudes toward America are at historic lows around the world - from from Sweden to South Africa - with a median of 50 percent holding a favorable opinion of the USA, compared to 43 percent who see the US unfavorably. In 20 of the 25 countries surveyed, a majority said they had no confidence in Trump.

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

Despite the unease many feel about the the moment, the idea of a US -led global order remains attractive to most.

The trend was especially pronounced this year in Europe: In France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United States a combined median showed a majority (57 percent) didn't think the USA respected personal freedom.