The U.S. image around the world slumped further this year after President Donald Trump criticized allies and praised enemies, with a global poll showing people in most countries trust the leaders of not only Germany and France but Russia and China more than Trump.
A survey of more than 26,000 people in 25 nations released by the Pew Research Center on October 1 found that only 27 percent trusted Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 30 percent who expressed confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin and 34 percent who voiced confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping.
But while its image has declined since Trump's election, Pew said that "on balance the United States still receives positive marks -- across the 25 nations polled, a median of 50 percent have a favorable opinion of the U.S., while 43 percent offer an unfavorable rating." And 63 percent of respondents said the world was better off with the United States as the leading power, compared to 19 percent who preferred China in that role when asked to choose between the two.
The Pew survey indicated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the most confidence-inspiring world leader, getting a thumbs-up from 52 percent of respondents -- nearly twice as many as Trump. French President Emmanuel Macron was second with a 46 percent rating.
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has pulled the United States out of international agreements such as the Paris accord to combat climate change and the deal to curb Iran's nuclear program, cultivated relations with authoritarian leaders including Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and severely criticized neighboring Canada and Mexico as well as Germany and other NATO allies.
In June, after a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada, Trump refused to sign a joint statement and called the host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, very dishonest and weak." He has repeatedly criticized Germany over its trade surplus, defense spending, and reliance on Russian natural gas.
When giving a speech at the UN General Assembly last week, Trump drew laughter from an audience that included world leaders when he claimed to have achieved more so far in his term than almost any other U.S. administration in history.
The survey showed that the image of the United States, which took a big hit in Trump's first year in office, continued to deteriorate in many countries in 2018, particularly in Europe.
It showed that 30 percent of Germans have a favorable view of the United States, down five percentage points from 2017 and the lowest favorable rating among Germans for any other country except Russia, which got 26 percent.
Thirty-eight percent of French and 39 percent of Canadians said they had a positive view of the United States, both down from last year. Mexico inched up slightly to 32 percent.
The countries whose people had the most positive views of the United States were Israel, the Philippines, and South Korea, all at 80 percent or above.
Seven percent of Spaniards, 9 percent of French people, and 10 percent of Germans polled said they had confidence in Trump's leadership. In 20 of the 25 countries surveyed, a majority said they had no confidence in Trump.
Substantial majorities in 19 of the 25 countries surveyed said the United States did not take their interests into account when making international policy.
The survey was conducted between May and August, and based on interviews with over 900 people in each of the surveyed countries.