Pew Survey: U.S. Global Image 'Tarnished' During Trump Presidency

  • VOA News

    September 16, 2020 08:13

    America's image as a global superpower has been tarnished since Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

    A 13-nation survey by the U.S. think tank found that only 41 percent of those surveyed in Britain have a favorable opinion of the U.S., the lowest percentage of any comparable survey Pew has conducted in the country. A mere 31 percent of the population in France views the U.S. favorably, mirroring survey results from March 2003, when tensions between the two countries peaked over the Iraq War, the survey found.

    The survey also found that much of the damage to America's international reputation among key allies and partners is linked to its handling of the coronavirus crisis. Only 15 percent of the participating countries gave the U.S. good marks for dealing with the pandemic.

    Most of the countries said the World Health Organization and the European Union have done an admirable job containing the pandemic. Almost all of the countries, except the U.S. and Britain, gave their countries positive grades for their handling of the outbreak.

    People hold placards with anti-Trump messages in central London, near the end of a protest against the state visit of President Donald Trump on June 4, 2019. /AP

    While few of the countries believe China has effectively handled the outbreak, it still received significantly better reviews than the U.S. response.

    Trump's performance on the world stage has remained low since he entered office, the survey said. Belgium gave him his most negative assessment, with just 9 percent expressing confidence that Trump will do what is right when handling global affairs. Japan gave him the highest rating, with one-quarter of its respondents expressing confidence. 

    Global attitudes toward Trump have consistently been considerably lower than those of former President Barack Obama, particularly in Western Europe, the survey found.

    Trump, however, is perceived more favorably among Europeans who have favorable views of "right-wing populist parties, though confidence is still relatively low among all groups," the survey said. Pew noted that 45 percent of the adherents of Spain's Vox Party are confident in Trump's ability to handle global issues, much higher than the 7-percent approval rate among Spaniards who do not support Vox.

    Trump ranks last in trust when compared with the six world leaders in the survey. Some 83 percent of the respondents said they have "no confidence" that Trump will "do the right thing regarding world affairs," higher than Chinese President Xi Jinping's 78 percent "no confidence" rating and Russian President Vladimir Putin's 73 percent.

    The White House did not immediately respond to the survey, but Trump has maintained he has done a good job in handling the coronavirus crisis, although the U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths. During a White House news conference last month, Trump said, "When you look at the job we've done, compared to others, we've done a great job."

    Trump also suggested at the news conference that the U.S. has not been as adversely affected by the virus when compared with other countries. "We've done a great job, and on top of that, when you look at the numbers, how we were impacted less than these other countries," Trump said. During a recent interview with Axios, Trump said the U.S. has done a "great" and "incredible" job in handling the pandemic. 

    Pew said the survey's findings are based on feedback from 13,273 respondents from June 10 to Aug. 3. The respondents were in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Korea, Spain, Sweden and Britain. The U.S. was not included in the survey. 

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