Jun 10, 2021 - World

Poll: U.S. image abroad rebounds sharply with Biden in office

Percent who have confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States' image around the world has sharply improved since President Biden took office after dipping during the Trump administration, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 16 countries.

The big picture: The high marks come as Biden embarks on his first overseas trip as president. Though opinions of the U.S. have broadly increased internationally, people in allied countries did not express great confidence in the U.S. as an ally and were also concerned about its domestic politics.

By the numbers: More than 6 in 10 people in the surveyed countries said they have confidence in Biden to do the right thing in world affairs.

  • In 12 of the surveyed countries, a median of 75% expressed confidence in Biden, compared with 17% for Trump in 2020.
  • A median of 62% across 12 nations had a favorable overall opinion of the U.S., while only 34% held that view last year.

The big picture: Across the 16 countries, a median of 56% said the U.S. is "somewhat reliable," 11% described it as "very reliable" and 26% said it was "not too reliable."

  • Only a median of 6% said the U.S.' political system works "very" well, while 44% said it works "somewhat" well and 32% said it works "not too" well.
  • A median of 57% said U.S. democracy used to be a good model for other nations to emulate, but it has not been in recent years.

Between the lines: It's unclear whether the uptick in favorability and confidence will translate to better cooperation between the U.S. and its allies.

  • Biden is trying to use his first foreign trip to reinvigorate the relationship between the U.S. and its European allies. But the bond and its shared objectives may not be as coherent as he thinks they are, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.

Methodology: Pew Research Center conducted telephone surveys with a total of 16,254 adults in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Taiwan and the U.K. from March 12 through May 26.

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