USA

Poll of 12 countries shows White House favorability has bounced back from 34% under Trump to 62%

The United States’ image around the world has bounced back since President Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House, according to new surveys of foreign opinion.

The Pew Research Center found that an average of 62 percent of respondents across 12 countries now have a favorable view of the U.S., compared with 34 percent under Trump.

The findings offer a welcome lift to Biden a day after he arrived in the United Kingdom and declared the U.S. to be back on the world stage.

U.S. favorability ratings among other nations have bounced back since President Joe Biden took office, according to a series of new surveys by the Pew Research Center. Among four key western allies, ratings dropped at least 60 point under Trump before rising again since Biden was sworn in as president

Across 12 nations - France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Netherland, Canada, Sweden, U.K., Spain, South Korea, Australia, Greece - a median of 62 percent of respondents now have a favorable view of the U.S. compared with 34 percent at the end of the Trump presidency

Across 12 nations – France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Netherland, Canada, Sweden, U.K., Spain, South Korea, Australia, Greece – a median of 62 percent of respondents now have a favorable view of the U.S. compared with 34 percent at the end of the Trump presidency

12 countries registered big increases in U.S. favorability since Biden replaced Trump. Of the countries surveyed in both 2020 and 2021, Italy showed the biggest increase of some 29 percentage points

12 countries registered big increases in U.S. favorability since Biden replaced Trump. Of the countries surveyed in both 2020 and 2021, Italy showed the biggest increase of some 29 percentage points

Biden and first lady Jilly Biden met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie on Thursday during the first full day of an eight-day swing through Europe as the president aims to unite allies against Russia and China

Biden and first lady Jilly Biden met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie on Thursday during the first full day of an eight-day swing through Europe as the president aims to unite allies against Russia and China

Biden has his work cut out demonstrating that U.S. democracy is in good shape, according to the survey

Biden has his work cut out demonstrating that U.S. democracy is in good shape, according to the survey

But the poll also found he has work to do on his bigger project of uniting democracies against Russia and China. Across 16 countries, a median of just 17 percent said American democracy served as a good example for other nations, compared with 57 percent who said it was a model in the past.

Overall, trust in the U.S. dipped to historic lows under Trump, even among close allies such as Britain and Japan, according to Pew.

In the 12 countries polled this year and last, some 75 percent of people said they had confidence in Biden to ‘do the right thing regarding world affairs.’ In contrast, only 17 percent said the same thing of Trump.

‘The election of Joe Biden as president has led to a dramatic shift in America’s international image,’ the Pew report concludes.

‘Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, publics around the world held the United States in low regard, with most opposed to his foreign policies.

‘This was especially true among key American allies and partners.’

It said his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, positive approach to multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and rejoining the Paris climates accord had all contributed to a more positive view. 

White House officials have made clear that Biden’s eight day swing through the U.K., Belgium and Switzerland is designed in part to draw a line under the Trump years and mark a return of the U.S. to the world stage.

On arriving in the U.K. Biden said he would use every stop on his trip to 'make it clear that the United States is back' ahead of meetings with leaders at the G7, Nato and European Union

On arriving in the U.K. Biden said he would use every stop on his trip to ‘make it clear that the United States is back’ ahead of meetings with leaders at the G7, Nato and European Union

Whoever is in power, few in Western Europe believe the US considers their interests. The numbers have ticked up under Biden from the Trump years, however

Whoever is in power, few in Western Europe believe the US considers their interests. The numbers have ticked up under Biden from the Trump years, however

The findings suggest Biden still has work to do if foreign audiences are to accept the U.S. in a leadership role

The findings suggest Biden still has work to do if foreign audiences are to accept the U.S. in a leadership role

Before leaving for the UK, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, said: ‘I think our view going into this trip is that actions speak louder than words, and that showing that the United States is capable of turning the corner on the pandemic; showing that the United States is capable of making the dramatic investments that will pull us up and out of this economic recovery and help power global growth.’

Biden made the same point when he arrived.

‘And at every point along the way, we’re going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues that matter most to our future; that we’re committed to leading with strength, defending our values, and delivering for our people,’ he said.

The Pew research was based on phone interviews with more than 16,000 adults from 16 nations from March to May of this year. 

The poll found that international audiences were skeptical that America, its values and its democracy are best placed to lead the world.

Across 16 publics, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received slightly higher ratings than Biden. Some 77 percent expressed confidence in her to the right thing on world affairs, compared with 74 percent for the American president.

A median of just 17% say democracy in the U.S. is a good example for others to follow, while 57% say it used to be a good example but has not been in recent years. Another 23% do not believe it has ever been a good example.

And the report continued that foreign audiences still assumed that Biden, like Trump, would put American interests first. 

‘Although Biden’s more multilateral approach to foreign policy is welcomed, there is still a widespread perception that the U.S. mainly looks after its own interests in world affairs,’ it said. 

‘More than half in most of the publics surveyed say the U.S. does not take their interests into account when it is making foreign policy decisions, although fewer feel this way in Japan, Greece and Germany.’

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