More than a dozen countries report 58% boost for US image globally now that Trump is gone

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Joe Biden arrives at Cornwall Airport Newquay (PA)
Joe Biden arrives at Cornwall Airport Newquay (PA)

The United States’ image abroad as a world leader is enjoying a resurgence as President Joe Biden travels to Europe for his first foreign trip since taking office, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

A Pew survey of residents in more than a dozen countries found that the percentage of those populations who expect the US president “to do the right thing” regarding world affairs was spiking in every country surveyed and recovering from severe lows registered near the end of former President Donald Trump’s term in office.

Across 16 countries including France, Germany, South Korea and others, 75 per cent of respondents say they now have confidence in the US president to make the right choices in terms of foreign policy, up from just 17 per cent who said the same at the end of 2020 as Mr Trump was preparing to leave office.

The trend also extends to overall views of the United States, which has jumped from just 34 per cent of respondents viewing the country favorably to 62 per cent between December of 2020 and May of 2021.

The biggest shifts in views of the two administrations occurred in Sweden and Belgium, where in both countries there existed a 70-point gap between confidence in Mr Trump at the end of 2020 and confidence in Mr Biden now.

The smallest difference between confidence in the two men existed among respondents from Greece, though there still existed a 40-point gap in confidence levels for Mr Biden and Mr Trump.

Greece overall saw the smallest rise in favorable views of the US as well, which ticked up 9 points between 2020 and May of 2021 and now sits at 63 per cent of Greek respondents with favorable views of the US. New Zealand was the country where positive views of the US were hardest to find, as only 42 per cent of Australian respondents said they had a favorable view of the country.

When Mr Biden is compared side-by-side with the former president on character issues, the results differed enormously in the poll as well. Just 13 per cent of respondents called Mr Biden “arrogant”, compared to a shocking nine-in-ten who said the same of Mr Trump. Fourteen per cent said Mr Biden was “dangerous”, while more than 70 per cent said that Mr Trump posed a danger.

The poll illustrates just how unpopular Mr Trump’s presidency was among the populations of many US allies, including close partners such as the UK where the former president famously clashed with ex-Prime Minister Theresa May as well as London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

A margin of error was not immediately available for the residents of all countries put together, but the margins of error for individual countries’ datasets can be found on Pew’s website and typically sat under 5 percentage points.

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