When it comes to world affairs, people have more trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping than in U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a global survey conducted by Pew Research Center.
The Washington-based think tank asked more than 26,000 respondents in 25 countries whether they had confidence in five prominent world leaders to “do the right thing regarding world affairs.”
Trump ranked last in the poll, with just 27 percent of respondents saying they had confidence in him. Putin and Xi came in fourth and third, respectively, with 30 percent and 34 percent of people expressing trust in the authoritarian leaders.
Scores for the three men were far outstripped by those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who ranked first in the poll, and French President Emmanuel Macron. About half of all respondents said the two European leaders inspired them with confidence.
Pew, which conducted the survey from May to August, said the data reveals a significant decline in America’s international image since Trump took office.
In 22 of 25 countries polled, favorability toward the United States has declined since the end of the Obama presidency. Russia, Kenya and Israel are the only countries where a positive shift has been recorded, the survey shows.
The global public “expressed significant concerns about America’s role in world affairs,” Pew wrote in its report. “Large majorities say the U.S. doesn’t take into account the interests of countries like theirs when making foreign policy decisions. Many believe the U.S. is doing less to help solve major global challenges than it used to. And there are signs that American soft power is waning as well, including the fact that, while the U.S. maintains its reputation for respecting individual liberty, fewer believe this than a decade ago.”
Pew said frustration with the U.S. has been particularly pronounced among some of America’s closest allies and neighbors. In Germany, for instance, just 10 percent of people said they had confidence in Trump, and 75 percent said the U.S. is doing less than in the past to combat global problems.
Twenty-five percent of Canadians said they favored Trump, while 82 percent said the U.S. ignores Canada’s interests when making foreign policy. And Trump got the lowest confidence rating In Mexico, where just 6 percent of respondents expressed faith in his leadership.
R. Nicholas Burns, who served as a top diplomat during the administration of President George W. Bush, expressed alarm at the survey’s finding of America’s dwindling reputation.
“It is difficult for any administration to succeed in its foreign policy if we lose the battle of public opinion around the world,” Burns told The New York Times.