Residents of most G-20 countries ― including the United States ― have more faith in German Chancellor Angela Merkel than in U.S. President Donald Trump to handle world affairs, according to newly released data from Pew Research.
Fifty-six percent of Americans say they have some or a lot of confidence in Merkel to do the right thing regarding foreign affairs, according to the poll published Wednesday. Just 46 percent have a similar level of confidence in Trump.
Merkel also received significantly higher ratings than Trump in a dozen other countries, while Trump fared substantially better in only two of the countries surveyed, India and Russia.
Trump and Merkel, who met in a tense encounter in March, held an awkward reunion Thursday in advance of the upcoming G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Friday. The two have sparred openly: Trump previously described Merkel’s refugee policy as a “catastrophic mistake,” while Merkel criticized Trump’s travel ban and trade policies. The German leader also disparaged Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on reducing carbon emissions, calling the agreement “irreversible and non-negotiable.”
Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the idea of withdrawing from the agreement according to Pew’s survey, which was taken before Trump’s decision on the Paris accord was made. A majority, 57 percent, also say they disapprove of Trump’s proposal to withdraw support for major trade agreements.
Pew Research surveyed 1,505 adults in the U.S. between Feb. 16 and March 15, using live interviewers to reach both landlines and cell phones. More information on Pew’s international methodology is available here.