Poll: Americans think tensions with Russia, China will get worse

Poll: Americans think tensions with Russia, China will get worse
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Most Americans expect relations with China and Russia to deteriorate further before any progress is made in mending ties, according to an Associated Press–NORC poll released Friday.

Fifty-six percent of American adults told pollsters that they expect relations with Russia to get worse over the next year, compared to just 13 percent who said they thought relations would improve. On relations with China, the numbers are similar: 48 percent expect ties with China to deteriorate in 2018, while just 17 percent expect improvement.

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Among Americans' fears surrounding China are concerns that Trump could be starting a trade war, which many Americans say would hurt both countries.

“The farmers here are worried about trade with China because of the soybeans, corn and hogs that all go there,” one retired survey respondent told the AP.

“If one side raises taxes and the other side does the same, it’s not going to help either country.”

Among Republicans surveyed, the divide over Russia is about even, with a much higher percentage thinking relations could improve. Forty percent of GOP respondents said they expected relations with Russia to get worse, while another 40 percent said they would improve.

On North Korea, Americans also remain pessimistic.

Despite Trump's plans for an unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 47 percent expect relations with Pyongyang to get worse compared to just 20 percent who expect a better relationship after Trump's meeting.

Trump's approval rating continued to hover around 40 percent in the survey, with 59 percent of Americans disapproving of the job he is doing as president. Those numbers are about the same as the last month's poll and up slightly from his average for 2018.

The AP–NORC poll was conducted between April 11 and 16 and contacted 1,140 U.S. adults. It carries a margin of error of 4 percentage points.