America’s Image Worsens Under Trump: Pew Survey

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President Donald Trump. — File photo

Caravan News

BERLIN  — America’s image in the eyes of its global allies took a hit for the second straight year under the leadership of President Trump, a Pew Research Center survey found.

The survey of 25 nations by the Pew Research Center finds that Trump’s international image remains poor, while ratings for the United States are much lower than during Barack Obama’s presidency, after a year in which President Donald Trump ratcheted up his verbal attacks on countries like Canada and Germany.

Of people surveyed in 25 countries, only 50% had a positive view of the U.S., a figure roughly even with Pew’s 2017 survey and down from the 64% that saw America positively at the end of the Obama administration.

However, Trump’s approval rating improved to 27% from 22% a year ago. In the U.K., for example, Trump’s approval rose mostly among supporters of conservative parties like UKIP.

The survey also showed that respondents from across the globe have less confidence in Trump’s ability to lead than they do in Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.

Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has pulled the United States out of international agreements like the Paris climate accord and Iran nuclear deal, cozied up to authoritarian leaders like Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and criticized his neighbors and NATO allies.

In June, after a G7 summit in Canada, Trump refused to sign a joint statement with America’s allies, deriding his host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as “very dishonest and weak”. He has repeatedly attacked Germany for its trade surplus, low defense spending and reliance on Russian gas.

Last week, when giving a speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Trump drew laughter from world leaders when he claimed to have achieved more in his two years in the White House than almost any other U.S. administration in history.

The America’s image, which took a big hit in 2017, Trump’s first year in office, continued to deteriorate in many countries in 2018, particularly in Europe, says survey report.

Just 30 per cent of Germans have a favorable view of the United States, down five points from last year and the lowest score in the entire survey after Russia, on 26 per cent.

The countries with the most positive views of the United States were Israel, the Philippines and South Korea, all at 80 per cent or above. Across all countries, the U.S. got positive marks, with 50 percent saying they had a positive view, compared to 43 per cent who were negative.

Just 7 percent of Spanish, 9 percent of French and 10 percent of Germans said they had confidence in Trump’s leadership. In 20 of the 25 countries surveyed, a majority said they had no confidence in Trump.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the only leader in which a majority of those surveyed, 52 per cent, expressed confidence. French President Emmanuel Macron was just behind at 46 per cent.

Despite Trump’s low ratings, 63 per cent of respondents said the world was better off with the United States as the leading power, compared to 19 per cent who preferred China in that role.

Reflecting Trump’s “America First” stance, substantial majorities in 19 of the 25 countries surveyed said the United States did not take their interests into account when making international policy.

The survey was conducted between May and August, and based on interviews with over 900 people in each of the surveyed countries.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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