Jan 18, 2018

Global approval of U.S. leadership plummets under Trump

Germany and China eclipsed the United States in global approval of their leadership around the world in 2017, per the Gallup World Poll. According to the survey, Germany is now the world's top-rated global power with a 41% approval rating after the U.S. plunged from 48% in 2016 to 30% in 2017.

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Reproduced from Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The results show how steeply global confidence in the United States has eroded in the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, which could weaken key American alliances.

It's the lowest level in a decade: This year's rating plunged below 2008's — when approval of American leadership worldwide fell to 34% in the last year of the Bush administration. In contrast, the Obama administration maintained an average approval rating just shy of 46% throughout its tenure.

It's just about everywhere: Countries in all regions across the globe registered drops in confidence in the United States — with some of the biggest drops recorded by crucial allies. 65 of 134 countries saw double-digit declines in U.S. leadership approval.

  • Canada, Belgium, and Norway all saw their approval ratings of U.S. leadership drop by at least 40 percentage points in 2017.
  • Every country in the Americas registered a double-digit drop in U.S. leadership approval — except Venezuela, which saw a 9-point fall.
  • A majority of Africans (51%) still hold a positive view of American leadership, but that's still the lowest level ever recorded for the continent.

Bucking the trend: Eastern Europe and Central Asia — including Russia — and portions of Africa saw their approval ratings of the U.S. increase during the last year. Israel, a close ally of the Trump administration, also saw its approval ratings increase by 14 points.

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