Views of US, Trump plummet across Europe, worsen in Japan and South Korea

US President Donald Trump is seen more negatively than other world leaders, including Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping.
US President Donald Trump is seen more negatively than other world leaders, including Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON - A new study shows that global positive perception of the United States has suffered a steep decline, with most saying America has mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic, and giving poor ratings to President Donald Trump.

US response to the coronavirus outbreak has further dented an already declining image abroad.

"Across the 13 nations surveyed, a median of just 15 per cent say the US has done a good job of dealing with the outbreak," Pew Research said.

Most respondents said the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Union had done a good job.

And while "relatively few think China has handled the pandemic well… it still receives considerably better reviews than the US response".

Trump rated lower than Putin

Pew Research Centre - a non-partisan "fact tank" - compiled the report from telephone surveys of 13,273 adults in 13 advanced economies from June 10 to Aug 3.

Those surveyed were from Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Britain, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Just 41 per cent in Britain expressed a favourable opinion of the US - the lowest percentage registered in any Pew survey there. In France, only 31 per cent see the US positively, matching the low opinion the French had of the country in March 2003, at the height of disagreements over the US invasion of Iraq.

And Germans give the US particularly low marks, with only 26 per cent rating it favourably.

Mr Trump is seen more negatively than other world leaders, including Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping.

Of the six leaders included in the survey, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel received the highest marks, with a median of 76 per cent across the nations polled having confidence in her.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron received largely favourable reviews, while public opinion on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was roughly split.

And while ratings for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are overwhelmingly negative, they are not as negative as those for President Trump.

Mr Trump's most negative assessment comes from Belgium, where only 9 per cent say they have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs.

Some fans in Japan and South Korea

Mr Trump enjoys his highest rating in Japan, according to the survey.

But even so, just one-quarter of Japanese express confidence in him.

Favourable views of the US in South Korea have been in steep decline since last year, yet South Korea is the only country surveyed where a majority still holds a positive opinion.

At the same time, trust in President Trump has dropped from 2018 when his policy towards North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the Singapore summit held in June that year earned him support in the south.

Today, only 17 per cent of South Koreans believe Mr Trump would do the right thing regarding world affairs; but 77 per cent of South Koreans still consider the US the global economic leader of choice.

 
 
 

More liked by the right - but not by women

Though confidence in him is relatively low among all groups, views of Mr Trump are more positive among Europeans who have favourable views of right-wing populist parties, the survey found.

And, in every country surveyed, men have a more positive assessment of the US than women.

The gender gap is largest in Denmark, where 42 per cent of men rate the US favourably, compared with 26 per cent of women.