Majority of French no longer see US as trusted ally: Poll

French President Emmanuel Macron (right) joking with US President Donald Trump (centre) at a Nato summit in July 2018.
French President Emmanuel Macron (right) joking with US President Donald Trump (centre) at a Nato summit in July 2018.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France is famously America's oldest ally, but more than half of French people no longer consider the United States a reliable partner, according to a survey released on Wednesday (Sept 12).

Just 44 per cent said the US was a "trusted ally" under President Donald Trump - a 33 point plunge since the same survey was done in May 2014, when Barack Obama was in the White House.

Only 17 per cent said they had a positive opinion of Trump in the Ifop poll, commissioned by the American Jewish Committee advocacy group, France's Foundation for Political Innovation and the Sursaut think-tank collective.

Some 54 per cent said they had a "very bad opinion" of the Republican leader.

Supporters of the far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen - formerly the National Front - were the only group to express a more positive opinion, with 42 per cent backing Trump.

Despite warm ties dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century and their alliance in World War II, US policy has long been a source of criticism in France, not least since the conflict in Iraq.

As Trump pursues punitive trade tariffs, 78 per cent believe the US is bad for French growth.

And with Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, 88 per cent also see his country as an adversary in the fight against global warming.

The figures do however point to a slight improvement in opinions since Trump's victory in November 2016, when just 38 per cent considered the US a trusted ally.

Attitudes also vary between age groups, with the oldest French nationals holding the most pessimistic views of the US.

Only 38 percent of those over 65 see Washington as a trusted ally, compared to 52 per cent of those aged 18 to 24.

The survey questioned 1,007 people online on Sept 10 and 11.