Trust in US falls to historic low

June 28, 2018

The Australian trust in the United States to “act responsibly in the world” has fallen to a historic low, according to the 2018 Lowy Institute Poll, released on 20 June.

Here is an extract from the Poll, with a graphic at the bottom of this post:

Trust in countries and confidence in their leaders

A bare majority of Australians (55%) say they trust the United States to ‘act responsibly in the world’, in a six-point fall since 2017, a 28-point fall since 2011, and the lowest level of trust in the United States ever recorded in our polling.

Australians’ highest level of trust among the eight nations polled is placed in the United Kingdom (trusted by 90%). Japan is trusted by 87% of Australians, and France by 84%. Trust in India (59%) is ahead of the United States (55%), followed closely by China (52%). Just 28% trust Russia, and 8% trust North Korea.

Only 30% of Australians have either ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ confidence in Donald Trump ‘to do the right thing regarding world affairs’. This places Trump ahead of only Russia’s Vladimir Putin (19%) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (5%) among the nine leaders ranked.The leaders Australians regard with the most confidence are the UK’s Theresa May (68%) and Japan’s Shinzo Abe (66%). Next is Malcolm Turnbull (63%), and France’s Emmanuel Macron has the confidence of 61%. Eighteen points behind is China’s Xi Jinping (43%), followed by India’s Narendra Modi (37%).

Commentary:

“The Poll figures suggest, therefore, that the Trump presidency is a negative for Australia–US relations. A politically stupid choice as the next US Ambassador to Australia would not be good for public confidence in the relationship, and a potential unwanted political headache for the Turnbull government,” writes Geoff Kitney.

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