Poll: Mexicans' View of United States hits Record Low

January 18, 2018

In a stunning reversal, a 65 percent majority of Mexicans hold an unfavorable view of the United States, compared to 66 percent holding a favorable view in 2015, according to new public opinion research from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Buendia & Laredo. This survey, taken near the end of Donald Trump's first year in office, marks the first time in two decades that a majority of Mexicans hold an unfavorable view of the United States.

Ahead of the next round of NAFTA negotiations, people in both the U.S. and Mexico believe NAFTA has been good for their respective economies – although a majority of Mexicans (75 percent) view the United States as an unfair trader. In addition, a majority of Mexicans (61 percent) say bilateral relations are worsening and believe the United States is working at odds with Mexico on key issues including security, trade, organized crime, and illegal drugs.

The report, "For First Time, Majority of Mexicans Hold Unfavorable View of United States," surveyed residents of Mexico and the United States on these issues.

Key highlights from the survey include:

  • Two in three Mexicans (65 percent) express an unfavorable view of the United States, while just three in ten (30 percent) have a favorable view, a stunning reversal from 2015 when two in three (66 percent) had a favorable view and three in ten (29 percent) had unfavorable views.
  • Among the Mexicans that know or have heard of President Trump (85 percent), the vast majority (89 percent) have a negative opinion of him.
  • While NAFTA negotiations are still ongoing, majorities of both Mexicans (62 percent) and Americans (53 percent) continue to see NAFTA as good for their nations’ economies.
  • Mexicans and Americans alike are also broadly favorable towards international trade, with majorities saying it benefits their nations’ economies (72 percent each), benefits consumers like them (69 percent Mexicans, 78 percent Americans), and is good for job creation (77 percent Mexicans, 57 percent Americans)
  • However, three in four Mexicans (75 percent) say the United States is an unfair trade partner, while two in ten (20 percent) think US trade is fair. Americans, for their part, are divided on whether Mexico is a fair (47 percent) or unfair (46 percent) training partner.

For full findings and report methodology, please view the report here.

"For First Time, Majority of Mexicans Hold Unfavorable View of United States" was written by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Buendia & Laredo and conducted with support from the Wilson Center Mexico Institute.

About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight—and influences the public discourse—on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices, conduct independent research, and engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future. The Council is committed to bringing clarity and offering solutions to issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org and follow @ChicagoCouncil.

About Buendía & Laredo
Buendía & Laredo is a specialized firm on public opinion and market research studies. Its priority is to generate information with the highest methodological standards. Buendía & Laredo is formed by a multidisciplinary group of social science researchers: political scientists, economists, survey methodologists, and statisticians. Learn more about Buendía & Laredo surveys at www.buendiaylaredo.com and follow @buendiaylaredo.

About the Wilson Center Mexico Institute
The Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. The Institute maintains an ongoing focus on five key issues in U.S.-Mexico relations: security and the rule of law; economics and competitiveness; migration and migrants; border issues; and energy. Learn more at www.wilsoncenter.org and follow @MexicoInstitute.