The image of the United States around the world has been restored since President Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House, according to new surveys of foreign opinion.
The Pew Research Center found that an average of 62 percent of respondents in 12 countries now have a favorable view of the US, compared to 34 percent under Trump.
The findings provide a welcome boost to Biden a day after he arrived in the UK and declared that the US is back on the world stage.
According to a series of new studies from the Pew Research Center, US valuations have bounced among other countries since President Joe Biden took office. Among the four major Western allies, ratings fell by at least 60 points under Trump before rising again since Biden was sworn in as president
In 12 countries – France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, UK, Spain, South Korea, Australia, Greece – a median of 62 percent of respondents now have a favorable view of the US, compared to 34 percent at the end of Trump’s presidency
Twelve countries registered a large surge in US favor since Biden replaced Trump. Of the countries surveyed in both 2020 and 2021, Italy showed the largest increase, at around 29 percentage points
Biden and First Lady Jilly Biden met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie on Thursday during the first full day of an eight-day tour of Europe as the president looks to unite his allies against Russia and China.
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But the poll also showed he has work to do on his larger project to unite democracies against Russia and China. In 16 countries, a median of just 17 percent said American democracy set a good example for other countries, compared with 57 percent who said it was a model in the past.
Overall, confidence in the US under Trump fell to historic lows, even among close allies like Britain and Japan, according to Pew.
In the 12 countries surveyed this year and last year, about 75 percent of people said they trust Biden “to do the right thing on world affairs.” In contrast, only 17 percent said the same about Trump.
“The election of Joe Biden as president has caused a dramatic shift in America’s international image,” the Pew report concludes.
During Donald Trump’s presidency, the public around the world had a low regard for the United States, and most were against his foreign policy.
“This was especially true for key US allies and partners.”
It said its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, positive approach to multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and rejoining the Paris climate accord had all contributed to a more positive image.
White House officials have made it clear that Biden’s eight-day sweep through the UK, Belgium and Switzerland is designed in part to draw a line under the Trump years and mark a return of the US to the world stage.
On arrival in the UK, Biden said he would use every stop on his journey to “make it clear that the United States is back” ahead of meetings with leaders from the G7, NATO and the European Union.
Whoever is in power, few people in Western Europe believe that the US is taking their interests into account. However, the numbers have risen under Biden from the Trump years
The findings suggest Biden still has work to do if a foreign public is to accept the US in a leadership role
Before leaving for the UK, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said: ‘I think on this trip we believe that actions speak louder than words, and show that the United States has the ability to turn the pandemic around; showing that the United States is able to make the dramatic investments that will pull us out of this economic recovery and boost global growth.”
Biden made the same point when he arrived.
And at every point along the way we will make it clear that the United States is back and the democracies of the world stand together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues most important to our future; that we are committed to leading with strength, defending our values and delivering for our people,” he said.
The Pew survey was based on telephone interviews with more than 16,000 adults from 16 countries from March to May this year.
The poll found that the international public was skeptical that America, its values and its democracy are best placed to lead the world.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel received slightly higher ratings than Biden among 16 audiences. Some 77 percent expressed confidence in her that she would do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 74 percent for the US president.
A median of just 17% say democracy in the US is a good example for others to follow, while 57% say it used to be a good example but hasn’t been in recent years. Another 23% do not believe it has ever been a good example.
And the report continued that the foreign public still assumed that, like Trump, Biden would put American interests first.
“While Biden’s more multilateral approach to foreign policy is welcomed, there is still a widespread perception that the US is primarily pursuing its own interests in world affairs,” it said.
“More than half of most respondents say the US doesn’t consider its interests when making foreign policy decisions, although fewer people think so in Japan, Greece and Germany.”