World’s Approval of US Leadership Drops to New Low

(CN) – Foreign approval of U.S. leadership has dropped to an all-time low just one year after President Donald Trump took office, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

Only 30 percent of respondents from around the world said they approve of U.S. leadership, an 18-point drop from last year. It signifies not only the lowest approval rating since Gallup began asking in 2007, but the largest single percentage drop in the history of the poll.

Last year, the United States led in the global approval poll, beating out Germany 48 percent to 41 percent. This year, however, Germany is the highest rated at 41 percent, compared to the U.S. at 30 percent.

Jon Clifton, global managing partner at Gallup, said this year marks a significant change in trends his organization has tracked over the last decade.

“In fact, more people now disapprove of U.S. leadership than approve,” Clifton said. “This historic low puts the U.S.’s leadership approval rating on par with China’s and sets a new bar for disapproval.”

China, known for its history of human rights violations, also beat out United States by a percentage point. Russia came in at a 27 percent approval rating, just three percent under the U.S.

In 2016, the U.S. approval rating was higher than China by 17 percent, and higher than Russia by 22 percent.

Since Trump took office, he’s withdrawn the United States from both the Paris climate accord and Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaving other nations to take on a greater leadership role. He has also threatened to back out of an agreement that prohibits Iranian nuclear weapon development and the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Key to the low approval rating are longstanding U.S. allies such as Canada and the United Kingdom. In Canada alone, approval of U.S. leadership dropped more than 40 points. Despite Trump’s “America First” campaign, many countries are increasingly doubtful of the United States’ ability to continue shaping and influencing international policy.

Only four countries increased their approval of the United States: Belarus, Israel, Liberia and Macedonia. While the survey was taken before Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he had earlier announced his intention to do so.

Despite the record low approval of U.S. leadership, respondents still they have a favorable view of Americans and still believe in American opportunity.

“However the world feels about U.S. leadership, it hasn’t affected how the world feels about the American dream,” Clifton said. “There are still a lot of people that want to come here despite how they feel about our leadership.”


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