U.S. Image Slides As Trump Rated Lower Than Putin, Xi In Global Poll

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The FINANCIAL — The U.S. image around the world slumped further this year after President Donald Trump attacked allies and praised enemies, with a global poll showing people in most countries trust the leaders of not only Germany and France but Russia and China more than Trump.

A survey of 26,112 people in 25 nations released by the Pew Research Center found that only 27 percent trusted Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 30 percent who expressed confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin and 34 percent who voiced confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the most confidence-inspiring world leader, getting a thumbs-up from 52 percent of respondents — nearly twice as many as Trump. French President Emmanuel Macron was just behind Merkel with a 46 percent rating, according to RFE/RL.

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, sought closer relations with authoritarian leaders like Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and severely criticized neighboring Canada and Mexico as well as Germany and other NATO allies.

In June, after a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada, Trump refused to sign a joint statement with U.S. allies, belittling 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 UN General Assembly in New York, Trump drew laughter from an audience that included 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.

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The survey showed that 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.

Just 30 percent of Germans have a favorable view of the United States, down five points from last year and the lowest score in the survey after Russia, which got 26 percent.

Only 38 percent of French and 39 percent of Canadians said they had a positive view of the United States, both down from last year. Mexico inched up slightly to 32 percent.

The countries with the most positive views of the United States were Israel, the Philippines, and South Korea, all at 80 percent or above.

Across all countries, despite Trump’s negative image, the U.S. got positive marks, with 50 percent saying they had a positive view, compared to 43 percent who were negative.

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

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.

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.

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