Under Trump, US leadership approval drops to new lows abroad: Poll
A global survey shows deep decline in approval of U.S. leadership.
By MERIDITH McGRAW
January 18, 2018, 6:46 AM
• 5 min read
-- From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, approval of United States leadership declined around the globe between 2016 and 2017, according to a survey released Thursday.
The global poll from Gallup found that on average only 30 percent of the world approves of U.S. leadership during President Donald Trump's first year in office, down from 48 percent in the last year of President Barack Obama's administration in 2016. The United States' leadership approval rating is now only slightly better than Russia's, 27 percent, and is on-par with China's rating of 31 percent. With a rating of 41 percent, Germany replaced the United States as the highest-rated global power.
There were 134 countries surveyed for the 2017 poll.
The poll suggests Trump's "America First" policies and attitudes are weakening approval of U.S. leadership around the world, but also close to home.
As the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) hangs in the balance, approval of U.S leadership plummeted with American neighbors Mexico and Canada. In Canada, approval dropped 40 points from 60 percent in 2016 to 20 percent in 2017, while in Mexico, approval dropped 28 points from 44 percent approval in 2016 to 16 percent approval in 2017.
Some of the other most significant declines in approval came from longtime American allies like France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.
Trump's strong relationship with Israel, however, may have boosted the United States' leadership ratings by 14 percent. Overall, 67 percent of Israelis approve of U.S. leadership. Large gains were also seen in Belarus, Macedonia and Liberia.
Approval was lowest in Iceland and Russia with 8 percent approval.
"While advancing American influence -- one of the four pillars of the administration’s new national security strategy -- may begin with building up wealth and power at home, as Trump has stated, it can’t be achieved without a strong commitment to and close cooperation with partners and allies abroad," the report says.
"It is too early in Trump’s presidency to deem his 'America First' foreign policy a success or failure. However, it is clear that based on the trajectory of what the world thinks of the U.S., many of the U.S. alliances and partnerships that the Trump administration considers a 'great strength' are potentially at risk."
Gallup began the survey, called Rating World Leaders, in 2007. The results are gathered by face-to-face and telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, in all 137 countries. The survey claims with 95 percent confidence a sampling error of plus or minus 2 to 5 percentage points.