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1040 Abroad

America’s Global Reputation Dropped During Trump Presidency

Data from the Pew Research Center shows how international impressions of the United States have been affected in the past 20 years

Published on November 25, 2020

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A new study published by the Pew Research Center has found that America's Global Reputation has dropped during the past 4 years. In some countries, including the UK, favorability ratings have dropped to their lowest levels in 20 years.

Based on surveys going back to the year 2000, the data suggests that 83% of people in the UK had a favorable attitude towards America at the turn of the Millennium, a number which is now 41% in 2020. In 2000, 62% of people in France had a favorable view of the US, while in 2020, just 31% have a positive impression. A similar pattern can be seen in Germany, where favorability rates dropped from 78% in 2000 to 26% in 2020. Further drops have been identified in data from Japan, Canada and Australia.

The Research Center draws a line between the view of America and the Presidency of Donald Trump. The study cites data from 2017, where people from 37 countries were asked for their impressions of the President. Taking the median percentage from the responses of the 37 countries, 75% described President Trump as "arrogant", 65% as "intolerant" and 62% as "dangerous". 55% described Trump as "a strong leader", 39% said he was "charismatic", 26% said he was "well-qualified to be President", and 23% said he was "caring about ordinary people".

The study also compares views of President Trump in relation to impressions of the two previous US Presidents, George W Bush and Barack Obama. Since 2001, the Center has asked people from 28 countries what level of confidence they have in the sitting President to "do the right thing regarding world affairs". Of these 28 countries, the lowest or equal lowest rating of confidence in the sitting President can be found in the years between 2016 and 2020, during the Presidency of Donald Trump.

Concluding the survey, Richard Wike, director of global attitudes research at Pew Research Center, says that "It’s too soon to know the extent to which a new president and new policies can turn around America’s battered image, but a change like this has happened before. After years of relatively poor ratings during the Bush administration, views of the US improved significantly in many regions after Obama took office in 2009. Obama’s policies weren’t uniformly popular over the course of his presidency, but people generally saw his approach to world affairs as more multilateralist than Bush’s, and ratings for the US remained relatively high in most nations throughout his tenure."

To see the full data set and study, go to www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/19/the-trump-era-has-seen-a-decline-in-americas-global-reputation

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