The World Dislikes Trump and his Policies, According to Pew Research Center

President Donald J. Trump disembarks Marine One Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, and walks back to the Oval Office upon his return from his trip to Charlotte, N.C. (Flickr/White House/Tia Dufour)

A study published by the Pew Research Center revealed that many in the world do not approve of Pres. Donald Trump’s foreign policies. This is not a surprising discovery, but it is in total contrast to what the President has been claiming regarding his exaggerated accomplishments.

Even before his election, candidate Trump repeatedly stated that Pres. Barack Obama was not respected by the rest of the world and that he, as President, will restore respect to the United States by foreign countries.

Given Pres. Trump’s many exaggerations and outright lies, no one should be surprised by the untruth of what he claimed. The fact is that his predecessor, Pres. Barack Obama, was highly respected around the world, and to the contrary, Pres. Trump has become the laughing stock of most people in and out of the United States, except by the autocratic leaders of Turkey, North Korea, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Let us look at the actual numbers based on the Pew Research Center. In the 33 countries surveyed, the median of only 18% of the people stated they viewed Trump’s foreign policy as positive. Not surprisingly, Trump’s highest foreign policy rating was among Israelis (55%), while 32% disapproved and 13% said, “no difference.”

The following countries, in descending order, expressed their degree of Pres. Trump’s approval of foreign policy: Poland (34%), Hungary (31%), Ukraine (29%), Nigeria (29%), India (27%), Kenya (25%), South Africa (25%), Slovakia (24%), Australia (24%), Lithuania (22%), Czech Republic (22%), Philippines (21%), Indonesia (19%), Greece (19%), Bulgaria (18%), Lebanon (18%), UK (18%), Italy (17%), Japan (17%), South Korea (16%), Canada (16%), Russia (14%), Netherlands (11%), Sweden (11%), Argentina (10%), Tunisia (9%), Mexico (9%), Turkey (9%), France (9%), Brazil (8%), Spain (7%), and Germany (6%). In the United States, Trump’s approval rating on foreign policy was 37%. It is concerning that some of the lowest ratings were among the NATO allies, while the ratings in the neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico were also very low.

When asked about individual policy issues, the median of the people in the 33 countries surveyed showed the following ratings:

—U.S. increasing tariffs or fees on imported goods from other countries: 18% approve; 68% disapprove.

—U.S. withdrawal from international climate change agreements: 14% approve; 66% disapprove.

—Building a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico: 24% approve; 60% disapprove.

—Allowing fewer immigrants into the U.S.: 34% approve; 55% disapprove.

—U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear weapons agreement: 29% approve; 52% disapprove.

—U.S. negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about the country’s nuclear weapons program: 41% approve; 36% disapprove.

Regarding the respect the current and the two previous U.S. Presidents —Trump (2017-2019), George W. Bush (2001-2008) and Barack Obama (2009-2016)—enjoyed around the world, the Pew Research Center discovered that Obama was ranked much higher than both Bush and Trump among the people in the 33 countries surveyed. Here are the rankings of the three Presidents with the lows and highs during the various years of their presidency:

Canada: Bush (28%-59%); Obama (76%-88%); Trump (22%-28%).

France: Bush (12%-25%); Obama (83%-91%); Trump (9%-20%).

Germany: Bush (14%-51%); Obama (71%-93%); Trump (10%-13%).

Greece: Bush (not available); Obama (27%-41%); Trump (17%-25%).

Italy: Bush (30%-43%); Obama (68%-77%); Trump (25%-32%).

Netherlands: Bush (39%); Obama (92%); Trump (17%-25%).

Spain: Bush (7%-26%); Obama (54%-75%); Trump (7%-21%).

Sweden: Bush (21%); Obama (93%); Trump (10%-18%).

UK: Bush (16%-51%); Obama (72%-86%); Trump (22%-32%).

Bulgaria: Bush (27%); Obama (not available); Trump (26%).

Czech Republic: Bush (36%); Obama (75%-77%); Trump (28%).

Hungary: Bush (not available); Obama (58%); Trump (29%-33%).

Poland: Bush (29-47%); Obama (49%-64%); Trump (23%-51%).

Slovakia: Bush (21%); Obama (not available); Trump (34%).

Russia: Bush (8%-28%); Obama (11%-41%); Trump (20%-53%).

Ukraine: Bush (19%); Obama (11%-41%); Trump (44%).

Australia: Bush (23%-59%); Obama (77%-84%); Trump (29%-35%).

India: Bush (not available); Obama (48%-74%); Trump (40%-56%).

Indonesia: Bush (14%-23%); Obama (53%-71%); Trump (23%-30%).

Japan: Bush (25%-35%); Obama (60%-85%); Trump (24%-36%).

Philippines: Bush (not available); Obama (84%-94%); Trump (69%-78%).

South Korea: Bush (22%-36%); Obama (75%-88%); Trump (17%-46%).

Israel: Bush (57%-83%); Obama (49%-71%); Trump (56%-71%).

Lebanon: Bush (17%-34%); Obama (35%-46%); Trump (15%-23%).

Tunisia: Bush (not available); Obama (24%-28%); Trump (12%-18%).

Turkey: Bush (2%-8%); Obama (12%-45%); Trump (11%).

Kenya: Bush (72%); Obama (78%-95%); Trump (51%-65%).

Nigeria: Bush (not available); Obama (53%-84%); Trump (58%-59%).

South Africa: Bush (32%); Obama (72%-77%); Trump (39%-42%).

Argentina: Bush (5%-7%); Obama (31%-61%); Trump (11%-22%).

Brazil: Bush (not available); Obama (52%-69%); Trump (14%-28%).

Mexico: Bush (16%-28%); Obama (38%-55%); Trump (5%-8%).

Finally, in comparison with other major world leaders, Pres. Trump ranked at the bottom third of the Pew Research Center survey in 33 countries, losing to French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin, but outscoring Chinese President Xi Jinping by a single point.

The next time Pres. Trump boasts about how he is respected around the world vs. Pres. Obama, you can smile and tell yourself: one more lie!

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. Who cares about the Pew Research Center or any of the biased polls.
    It is the American voter who decides on who is the President elect.
    Three years after Trump’s election, Mr. Sassounian cannot accept Trump’s election and
    he will be disappointed again come November.
    What a waste of space in the AW.
    Vart Adjemian

  2. Typical low-rate politically driven one-sided journalism, only Armenian style. I expect more of the weekly, there’s more than enough negativism from all sides in this country’s media. Why pollute the Weekly with hyper-biased non-sense that doesn’t inspire Armenians young or old?

    Please fill AW’s white space with content that is both uplifting and aimed at building on the 120/85 milestone.

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