What Indians think of US President Donald Trump, ahead of his India visit

By: |
February 21, 2020 11:35 AM

The study comes just ahead of the much-anticipated maiden visit of Trump and his family to India.

US-India relations, US-India ties, US-India relations sentiments, Indian sentiments on Donald Trump, Indians opinion of Donald Trump, Indians opinion of China, India-China ties, Indians perception of US, Indians perception of Donald Trump, Indians perception of China, Indians perception of Xi JinpingIndians are more likely to perceive the US as an ally, says the study.

Donald Trump India Visit: The confidence in US President Donald Trump has grown among Indian citizens in the past three years, a Pew Research survey has found. While only 14 per cent Indians supported Trump in 2016, when he was contesting the elections for the top US office, this number has shot to a staggering 56 per cent.

Apart from this, there has also been a significant shift among the people who had in 2016 refused to give an answer. This number witnessed a decline of 37 per cent, from 67 per cent in 2016 to 30 per cent in 2019. Moreover, the share of people saying they have no confidence in Trump has more or less remained stable, with only a marginal decline from 18 per cent in 2016 to 15 per cent in 2019.

Also read | Namaste Trump: India’s military cooperation with the US grows, soon to touch $ 25 billion

The study comes just ahead of the much-anticipated maiden visit of Trump and his family to India.

Modi followers support Trump!

What’s also interesting is that the study found that people who follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are more likely to be supporters of Trump than the followers of leading Opposition party Indian National Congress. It was also found that BJP supporters are also more open to voicing their opinions.

Little support on trade

However, the study also found that while Donald Trump has found support among the Indian citizens, some of his trade policies and his trade attitude failed to gather much fanfare. As many as 48 per cent of Indians disapproved of Trump’s imposition of increased tariffs or fees on goods from other countries. Of the remaining respondents, there was an almost equal split among those who approved of Trump’s trade policy and those who chose not to answer the question.

The study also found that on this parameter, the choice of political parties had little to do with the answers, as supporters of BJP were equally likely to disapprove of Trump’s policy as Congress followers.

When asked about their opinion on whether a foreign company setting up operations in India is a good thing, 62 per cent respondents said that they thought it had a good impact on the country, mainly because in this kind of a setup, the opportunities for employment increase. This method of investment has found more approval among the Indian population than foreign mergers and acquisitions, in which a domestic company is bought by a foreign one. 47 per cent of Indians disapprove of foreign mergers and acquisitions, while 43 per cent think it’s good for the Indian economy.

US vs China

On being asked to choose between strong economic ties with the US or China, 62 per cent Indians said they would prefer India having stronger ties with the US. Apart from that, majority of Indians thought that current India-US ties are good.

On the other hand, 61 per cent Indians believe that China’s growing economy will negatively impact India, with most respondents having a negative opinion towards China and its President Xi Jinping. Mere 21 per cent of Indians have confidence in the Chinese President, while 36 per cent said they lacked confidence in him with regard to world affairs. Meanwhile, 46 per cent Indians have an unfavourable view of China, and only 23 per cent have a positive view of the country. Moreover, Indians are more likely to perceive the US as an ally and see China as a threat, the Pew Research study has found.

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