Trump erodes Aussie trust in US: poll

Angus Livingston
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Donald Trump’s reign has seen Australian trust in the United States drop to its lowest level in more than a decade.

A new poll from the Lowy Institute found just 55 per cent of Australians trust the US to “act responsibly in the world”.

That figure has dived 28 points since 2011 and is the lowest number since Lowy started asking the question in 2006.

The poll of 1200 adults was run in March and examined Australians’ attitudes towards the world.

Australians have the highest trust in the United Kingdom to act responsibly at 90 per cent, with Japan at 87 per cent and India at 59 per cent.

Only China on 52 per cent, Russia on 28 per cent and North Korea on eight per cent are below the US in the eight-nation survey.

President Trump is also well behind other world leaders in Australians’ trust, with less than a third having “a lot” or “some” confidence he will do the right thing in world affairs.

The UK’s Theresa May, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Malcolm Turnbull and France’s Emmanuel Macron have at least double Mr Trump’s 30 per cent trust score.

“There is no question that Donald Trump’s presidency has eroded Australians’ trust and confidence in the United States as a responsible global actor. That trust has fallen to its lowest point in the poll’s history,” the poll’s report said.

“Yet despite concerns about the current occupant of the White House, Australians’ support for the US alliance has held firm.”

More than 75 per cent of Australians say the nation should remain close to the US and even those who don’t trust Mr Trump said the US alliance was important to Australia.

Two-thirds of Australians say terrorism and North Korea’s nuclear program are Australia’s biggest threats in the next 10 years, while climate change ranks third.

Four in 10 Australians also see Mr Trump’s presidency as a “critical threat” to Australia’s national interest.

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