Trump lacks confidence
Donald Trump's international assessments remain negative, especially among key allies
This text has been translated from English into German.
Shortly before the second anniversary of Donald Trump's election as President of the United States, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 25 countries found that Trump's international reputation is still poor and that the United States is rated significantly lower than it was when Barack Obama was in office.
In addition, the center's new poll shows that the international public has significant concerns about America's role in international affairs. Large majorities believe that the United States does not take the interests of countries like theirs into account when making foreign policy decisions. Many believe the US is doing less to help address major global challenges than it has in the past. And there are signs that America's influence is waning too: while the United States still has a reputation for respecting personal freedom, fewer people believe it than ten years ago.
America's international standing plummeted after the 2016 presidential election amid widespread international rejection of the Trump administration's strategies and a shared lack of confidence in its leadership.
However, despite the loss of image since Trump was elected, America is still largely receiving positive ratings. Among the 25 countries surveyed, a median of 50% had a positive opinion about the US, while 43% had a negative opinion on the country. Even so, a median of only 27% indicates that they can trust that President Trump will make the right decisions in international affairs; 70% lack trust.
Frustration with the US in the Trump era is particularly widespread among some of America's closest allies and partners. In Germany, where only 10% trust Trump, three-quarters of people say the US is doing less today to address global issues, and the percentage of people who believe the US respects personal freedoms has been since 2008 down by 35 percentage points. In France, only 9% trust Trump, while 81% believe that the US does not take the interests of countries like France into account when making international policy decisions.
Critical opinions are also widespread among America's immediate neighbors. Only 25% of Canadians rate Trump positively, more than six in ten Canadians (63%) believe the US is doing less than in the past to address global issues, and 82% believe the US is ignoring Canadian interests in its policies . According to the study, Trump received the lowest ratings in Mexico, where only 6% trust his manager.
The public across the world is divided on whether the US is gaining or losing influence in the world. In the 25 countries surveyed, a median of 31% says that the US plays a more important role in the world today than it did ten years ago, 25% think it plays a less important role and 35% believe that the US is just as important today are as important as they were ten years ago.
These are some of the key findings of a new study by the Pew Research Center that was conducted from May 20 to August 12, 2018 with 26,112 participants in 25 countries. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 use data from a Pew survey of 1,500 American adults conducted from May 14 to June 15, 2018. The main findings of the report also include the following findings:
Good ratings for Merkel and Macron; bad grades for Xi, Putin, Trump: The study examined attitudes towards five international heads of state and government, with Donald Trump receiving the worst overall ratings from all five people. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping also received mostly negative reviews. In contrast, opinions about German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are generally positive. Both are predominantly popular in the EU, although there are regional differences within Europe in the sense that Merkel and Macron received positive ratings in the northern European countries studied and less positive ratings in the eastern and southern European countries.
China is seen as a rising power, but most still want the US to be the leading power: A median of 70% in all countries examined indicates that China plays a more important role today than it did ten years ago. Half or more than half of respondents in 23 out of 25 countries have this view. Despite the discomfort many are currently feeling about the US, the idea of a US-led world order remains appealing to most. When asked whether China or the US is better for the world as a global leader, people in almost every country tended to vote for the US. This is particularly true of some of China's Asia-Pacific neighbors such as Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Australia.
Few believe that the US takes their interests into account: Donald Trump's presidency has led to an increasing number of people in many countries who believe that the US is basically not listening to countries like itss in its foreign policy. This attitude is particularly evident among some of America's key allies and partners. For example, the proportion of the French public who believe that the US is taking France's national interest into account increased during the presidency of Barack Obama and decreased again during the presidency of Donald Trump, although this proportion has never been in the past ten Years was particularly high. Today, only 18% of respondents in France think that the US takes the interests of countries like theirs into account in its policies.
The full report is only available in English.
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