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Trump Gets Highest Rating for Keeping Manufacturing in U.S.

Trump Gets Highest Rating for Keeping Manufacturing in U.S.

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • 35% of Americans rate Trump positively on keeping manufacturing in U.S.
  • Trump gets net positive rating on cutting federal regulations for businesses
  • President gets lowest marks on taxes, trade and reducing federal spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When asked to rate President Donald Trump's performance in six economic areas, Americans are most positive about his efforts to keep manufacturing plants from leaving the U.S. and his efforts to cut back on federal business regulations. Trump gets his lowest marks for his efforts on tax reform. Between 25% and 40% of Americans say they don't know enough to evaluate Trump's performance in the six areas asked about.


Much of the rhetoric during Trump's presidential campaign and many of his efforts since taking office have focused on improving the economy and the jobs situation in the U.S. In interviews conducted April 21-22, Gallup asked Americans to rate Trump's performance on six economy-related actions he has either taken or promised to take. Complete results are at the bottom of this article.

Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults rate the president's actions in fulfilling his promise to keep manufacturing plants from moving out of the U.S. as "excellent" or "good," and 23% rate them as "poor," yielding a net score of +12. This is the highest net rating of any of the six aspects tested. Since January, Trump has taken credit for several automakers' decisions to add manufacturing jobs in the U.S. rather than move them overseas.

Cutting federal regulations on businesses, with a net score of +4, is the only other aspect with a positive rating. Trump has issued two executive orders focused on reducing regulations since taking office. He gets a -1 rating on the more general "creating new jobs," the underlying objective that seemingly motivates many of his actions.

Americans give Trump net scores of -13 and -14 on reducing federal spending and improving U.S. trade policies with other nations, respectively. Trump has asked his Cabinet heads to propose staffing and spending cuts in their departments, but at the same time has proposed increased spending on the military and on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He initially issued, but has since rescinded, an order to freeze federal government hiring of civilians. On trade, Trump has withdrawn U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and continues to focus on modifying trade practices with China, Mexico and Canada.

Trump's success on tax reform, with a -20 net rating, is at the bottom of the list -- although four in 10 say they don't know enough about it to have an opinion. The Trump administration this week announced major changes to the tax code, although actual tax reform legislation has yet to materialize.

Confidence in Trump's Ability to Handle Economy Lower Than for Obama, Bush

As would be expected given Trump's comparatively low initial job approval ratings, Americans are less confident in Trump to do the right thing for the economy than they were in Barack Obama and George W. Bush during their first 100 days in office. Specifically, 48% of Americans say they have a "great deal" or "fair amount" of confidence in Trump to recommend the right thing for the economy -- substantially less than the 71% who were confident in Obama in April 2009 and the 68% who were confident in Bush in April 2001.

At the same time, Americans' confidence in Trump is nearly as high as it was for Obama in April 2016, and is much higher than the 34% who were confident in Bush during his last year in office in 2008.

Confidence in Trump on Economy Lower Than Obama, Bush in April of First Year
As I read some names and groups, please tell me how much confidence you have in each to do or to recommend the right thing for the economy.
  Great deal Fair amount Only a little Almost none
  % % % %
Donald Trump (April 2017) 25 23 15 36
Barack Obama (April 2009) 38 33 14 15
George W. Bush (April 2001) 29 39 16 15

Confidence in the Economy Overall and Views of Jobs Improve Significantly

One indirect measure of the economic effect of Trump's first 100 days as president is Americans' overall confidence in the economy, and on that front, Trump is a clear winner. Gallup's economic confidence index began to rise significantly when Trump was elected and remained high through his inauguration. Even after fluctuations in recent months, economic confidence remains well above where it was before last November.

In similar fashion, Gallup's job creation measure has shown a substantial and sustained increase since Trump's election.


As Trump nears his 100th day in office on Saturday, Americans are not overwhelmingly positive about his efforts so far to deliver on any of six key actions related to the economy. At the most, a third of Americans rate his efforts to keep manufacturing plants in this country as excellent or good. His other efforts receive less positive ratings.

Some of Trump's most significant economic proposals are just now unfolding, including tax reform, efforts to change how Americans pay for healthcare and plans to spend a massive amount of federal money on infrastructure. As the president moves forward on these and other economic actions, the public's views of his handling of the economy will, no doubt, change.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.

How would you rate the way Donald Trump has done in each of the following areas since he took office?
  Excellent Good Only fair Poor Don't know NET*
  % % % % %  
Keeping manufacturing plants from moving overseas 17 18 14 23 28 +12
Cutting federal regulations on businesses 11 16 12 23 37 +4
Creating new jobs 13 17 13 31 25 -1
Reducing federal spending 8 16 11 37 28 -13
Improving U.S. trade policies with other nations 10 14 12 38 26 -14
Tax reform 5 9 11 34 40 -20
*NET = % Excellent/Good minus % Poor
Gallup, April 21-22, 2017
Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted April 21-22, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

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