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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.

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.

Shannon Vavra 5 hours ago
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What it's like to negotiate with North Korea

Cups and a weapon.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

President Trump may find himself in a difficult position as soon as he sits down with Kim Jong-un, according to Jim Walsh, who has been in the room for previous talks and says North Korea’s first pitch is often a curveball.

“I’ve been in settings [in which they] set it at the top of the meeting, ‘we’re not going to talk about denuclearization,’" Walsh told Axios. "People on the other side say ‘why the hell are we meeting?’”
Khorri Atkinson 13 hours ago
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NYT: Mueller witness tried to influence White House on Gulf states

Interviews and previously undisclosed documents revealed that a witness in Robert Mueller's probe had worked for over a year to convert a Republican fundraiser into a White House influencer to help usher in deals on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times reports.

The backdrop: George Nader, a political adviser of the U.A.E. and Elliott Broidy, the RNC's deputy finance chair, reportedly urged the White House to dismiss Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support of combative approaches to Iran and Qatar. In another case, Nader promised Broidy over a $1 billion in contracts for his private security company in exchange for deals.