Feb 26, 2021 - World

What Americans want from Biden's foreign policy

Illustration of Joseph Biden standing on a globe
Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images     

Americans tend to think the top U.S. foreign policy priorities should include protecting American jobs, preventing terror attacks, reducing the spread of infectious diseases, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: There's a sharp partisan divide over whether limiting China's influence should be a top priority, with 63% of Republicans believing it should versus 36% of Democrats. Both numbers have risen significantly since 2018.

  • The biggest partisan gaps come over dealing with climate change (Republicans 14%, Democrats 70%) and stopping illegal immigration (Republicans 64%, Democrats 16%).
  • Neither party is particularly focused on promoting democracy (20% overall), aiding refugees (28%), reducing America's overseas military commitments (29%) or strengthening the UN (30%).

The big picture: 60% of Americans trust Biden to "do the right thing" in foreign policy, up from 47% under former President Trump but down from former President Obama's starting point of 74%.

  • 69% of Americans think other countries will view the U.S. more positively under Biden.
  • Yes, but: Just 53% think he'll deal effectively with China, the lowest he scores on a specific foreign policy issue.
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