Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Image of United States under Trump plunges

Image of United States under Trump plunges

In Israel, 81 percent of respondents said they now had a "positive view" of American leadership, although Pew noted that Israelis' attitudes about U.S. presidents have usually varied.

"Trump's character is also a factor in how he is viewed overseas".

The world has more confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin than in his USA counterpart Donald Trump, says a poll carried out by the US-based Pew Research Center among 40,000 respondents in 37 countries on all five continents. The new figures are similar to those toward the end of the George W. Bush administration. Only 30% of Mexicans express a positive attitude toward the USA, compared with 66% in the end of Barack Obama's presidential term.

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, considered an adversary in numerous countries surveyed, enjoys a healthier global reputation. Meanwhile, more than half of respondents (55%) call Trump a strong leader and another 39% say he is charismatic.

But the report indicates many feel their country's relationship with the USA will not change over the coming years.

It is perhaps unsurprising that a man who campaigned on a pledge to put American interests first would generate backlash in other parts of the world.

That's not us saying it, it's the opinion of numerous 40,447 people interviewed by Pew and their associates. Particularly in Europe, "that is nearly a reflex", said Daniel Fried, a former assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

"America's image has taken hits in recent years, from the decision to invade Iraq to the events of 2007 and 2008, when the American financial model took a huge hit", he said. It found that all of these positions are unpopular globally.

The depths of disapproval registered overseas suggest that Trump has undone the progress Obama made in burnishing the American brand.

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Most of those surveyed also disapprove of Mr Trump's major policies, including his promise to erect a physical wall along the border between the USA and Mexico, and temporarily halting travel from six mostly Muslim countries.

Among other world leaders studied by Pew, German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives relatively high marks.

The survey, based on the responses of 40,447 people and conducted between 16 February and 8 May this year, showed even deeper mistrust of Trump himself, with only 22 per cent of those surveyed saying they had confidence he would do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 64 per cent who trusted Obama.

China's Xi Jinping (28 per cent) and Russia's Vladimir Putin (27 per cent) also get poor marks, though neither is rated as negatively as Trump.

Pew said "the share of the public with a positive view of the USA has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa".

Israel and Russian Federation were the only countries surveyed where the public prefers Trump to Obama.

Since 2002, when Pew began examining the United States' image overseas, perceptions of the United States have run in parallel with judgments about the country's president.

The survey found widespread disapproval of some of Trump's major policies. By comparison, 93 percent of Swedes had confidence in Obama and only 10 percent feel the same way about Trump.

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