Mex­i­cans on Trump: ‘no con­fi­dence’

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Luis Alonso Lugo

WASH­ING­TON » Mex­i­cans dis­like President Don­ald Trump. Mu­cho.

Ac­cord­ing to a new poll, just 5 per­cent of Mex­i­cans trust Trump’s judg­ment in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs. That’s the Amer­i­can leader’s low­est rat­ing among cit­i­zens of more than three dozen na­tions polled ear­lier this year.

The sur­vey re­leased Thurs­day by the Pew Re­search Cen­ter said 93 per­cent of Mex­i­cans had “no con­fi­dence in the U.S. president to do the right thing re­gard­ing world af­fairs.”

The ap­proval south of the bor­der for Trump pales in com­par­i­son to for­mer President Barack Obama’s marks. Pew said he had the con­fi­dence of 49 per­cent of Mex­i­cans in its last sur­vey, slightly more than those who had no con­fi­dence in him. His low­est score was a 38 per­cent vote of con­fi­dence in 2011.

Trump’s crit­i­cism of Amer­ica’s neigh­bors has been far from sub­tle. He an­nounced his run for the White House in 2015 call­ing Mex­i­can im­mi­grants “crim­i­nals” and “rapists.” And a sig­na­ture is­sue in his cam­paign was the prom­ise that he would build a wall along the bor­der, and that Mex­ico would pay for it.

Mex­i­can President En­rique Pena Ni­eto has re­fused to foot the bill.

An over­whelm­ing 94 per­cent of Mex­i­cans op­pose the wall, the Pew poll noted.

For Mex­i­cans, neg­a­tive at­ti­tudes about Amer­ica go be­yond Trump. Nearly two in three now have a poor opinion of the United States, the high­est mark at any point in the past decade and a half. The num­ber has more than dou­bled in the last two years.

At a time when Trump has chan­neled Amer­i­can frus­tra­tions over U.S. trade re­la­tions with Mex­ico, Mex­i­cans have sim­i­lar feelings about the eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship. Slightly more than half now say such ties to the U.S. are good for their coun­try, down from 70 per­cent in 2013.

Mex­ico has been a top trade part­ner of the U. S. ever since the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment was reached in the 1990s. Trump has be­gun a process of rene­go­ti­at­ing the deal, al­leg­ing that it is un­fair to Amer­i­can work­ers. Canada is also part of the ac­cord.

De­spite the neg­a­tive per- cep­tions of the U. S., the num­ber of Mex­i­cans who be­lieve their lot would im­prove on the other side of the bor­der has in­creased by 7 per­cent­age points since 2015. Fifty-five per­cent say Mex­i­cans who’ve moved to the U.S. en­joy a bet­ter life.

That re­flects in­creased dis­sat­is­fac­tion among Mex­i­cans about their own coun­try and their own president.

More than eight in 10 Mex­i­cans dis­ap­prove of the way things are go­ing. Just over a quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion has a fa­vor­able view of Pena Ni­eto, down from a peak of 61 per­cent in 2011. It’s his low­est ap­proval rat­ing since Pew be­gan polling on the is­sue six years ago.

Fa­vor­a­bil­ity of his party, PRI, has al­most halved to 27 per­cent. The op­po­si­tion party, MORENA, is viewed fa­vor­ably by 37 per­cent.

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