Trump says he would be on Mount Rushmore if he was a Democrat

United States’ standing in world higher under Joe Biden than Donald Trump, poll shows

Except in China

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 28 April 2021 23:22

The first 100 days of Joe Biden’s presidency have improved the global image of the United States almost everywhere surveyed by a new poll.

But despite a trade war, Uighur genocide declarations, and "Kung Flu" rhetoric, China remains the only country where the US’s standing was significantly better under Donald Trump.

To mark Mr Biden’s 100-day milestone and first speech to a joint session of Congress, Morning Consult and Politico conducted a series of polls to measure the president’s performance against Mr Trump.

Across 14 countries surveyed, favourable views about the US increased by an average of 9 per cent in the three months since Mr Biden was inaugurated on 20 January.

"President Joe Biden inherited a tarnished American image abroad when he took office on 20 January following four years of President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policies and the 6 January Capitol riot that called into question the status of the world’s oldest continuous democracy," wrote Eli Yokley for pollsters Morning Consult.

"Nearly 100 days later as the United States and the world meets a symbolic milestone of Biden’s presidency, the Oval Office’s current occupant is overseeing a sizeable improvement to the American brand across many allied countries."

The biggest improvement was seen in Germany, which recorded a 22 per cent increase in the number of people who see the US favourably compared to the previous administration. Unfavourability in the country dropped 25 per cent over the same time.

Behind Germany was Japan, up 19 per cent to 55 per cent favourability, and France, up 17 per cent to 46 per cent favourability.

More modest increases were seen in the United Kingdom (14 per cent), Italy (12 per cent), Spain (11 per cent), Australia (10 per cent), Brazil (5 per cent), India (2 per cent), and Russia (3 per cent). South Korea was unchanged.

In Canada, 40 per cent view the US favourably, an increase of 14 per cent. Mexico, meanwhile, had an already-high level of favourability, and its 8 per cent increase raised the positive image south of the border to 68 per cent.

Dr Christian Welzel, vice president of the World Values Survey Association and chair in political culture research at the Center for the Study of Democracy at Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany, told Morning Consult that Europeans dislike a hawkish US foreign policy, as seen under Mr Trump, while approving of the country’s return to the Paris climate accords under Mr Biden.

Dr David Farber, a University of Kansas professor, put it more succinctly, telling the outlet that international opinion is contingent on what America does.

“People in many nations around the world are, I think, hopeful, that the election of Joe Biden marks a rejection of Trump’s ‘America First’ bullying and go-it-alone international policies and a return to a more collaborative, pro-democracy approach to international affairs,” he said.

That so-called bullying, meanwhile, seemed to have the opposite effect on China, which was long a target of Mr Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric.

Favourability in China decreased by 9 per cent since Mr Biden was sworn into office, with 74 per cent of the country now holding negative views of the United States.

The first major meeting between the two countries’ officials reflected that trend, with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi sparring in Alaska in March.

“We believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world,” Mr Yang said.

“Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.”

While confidence among Americans of their own image took a hit during the 6 January Capitol riot, it has improved slightly since Mr Biden took office.

The poll showed a 5 per cent increase for favourability of the US, within the US, since 20 January.

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