It’s well known by now that President Donald Trump isn’t particularly popular in Europe: He has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and the nuclear pact with Iran, imposed punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, and questioned NATO’s usefulness. For a bloc that functions (or doesn’t, if you ask its critics) through unanimity and consensus building, Trump is a shock to the global system that the United States created in the aftermath of World War II. But a new survey from the Pew Research Center released Monday shows not just how unpopular Trump himself is, but also how the extent of that unpopularity is bleeding into how Europeans view the United States as a whole.
Seven in 10 people around the world have no confidence in Trump, according to the survey of 26,112 people in 25 countries carried out from May 20 to August 12. The figures in European countries are far worse for Trump. In Germany, 10 percent said they have confidence in him; in France the figure is even lower: 9 percent, according to the survey. Strikingly, 43 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the U.S.; 50 percent said they had a favorable view.
“We’ve seen a big shift in America’s image around the world from the Obama to Trump presidencies,” Richard Wike, the director of Pew’s Global Attitudes Research, told me. There are “lower ratings for the U.S. in many countries; and … in the vast majority of countries we surveyed, [there are] much more negative views about Trump than we found about Obama when he was in the White House.” Obama was widely liked in Europe, though his approval did suffer in the wake of revelations that the U.S. had been spying on its allies in Germany and other places, as well as his administration’s aggressive use of drones in counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East.