Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Donald Trump leaving on a plane

President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he departs the White House on January 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C., hours ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, making him the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend the inauguration. (Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

75% of Foreign Public Confident Biden Will 'Do the Right Thing,' Up From Just 17% Under Trump

The Pew Research Center survey shows a massive improvement in the international image of the United States.

Andrea Germanos

A new Pew Research Center report reveals a dramatic shift in the international community's view of the United States and its president over the past year, with a clear improvement since former President Donald Trump left office.

Stark contrasts were revealed in a survey of a dozen nations this year and last. At the end of Trump's presidency, a median of just 17% had confidence in him to do the right thing regarding world affairs. At the start of President Joe Biden's term in 2021, however, 75% expressed such confidence. And while a median of only 34% had a favorable view of the U.S. at the end of Trump's presidency, 62% had a favorable view at the start of Biden's presidency.

The increase in favorability surged by double digits since the end of last year in countries including France, where it was up 34 percentage points to 65%; Canada, where it went up 26 points to 61%; and Sweden, where it rose 24 points to 57%.

The polling also showed a clear contrast in countries' confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs. In Belgium, for example, just 9% expressed that confidence in Trump last year compared to 79% for Biden this year. There were also massive jumps in that confidence expressed in Sweden (70 points), Germany (68), Italy (59), and South Korea (50).

Responses also indicate that countries aren't missing Trump's braggadocio.

During Trump's first year of office, 90% described him as arrogant. Thirteen percent said that about Biden.

Just 16% said in 2017 that Trump was well qualified for the office, compared to 77% who said that about Biden this year.

Pew's survey of 16,254 adults in 16 countries this year also suggested the U.S. has work to do on strengthening its democracy.

Only 17% said democracy in the U.S. is a good example for others to follow. Fifty-seven percent said U.S. democracy used to be a good example but no longer is. According to 23%, it never was a good example.

Pew's report came as Biden is in Europe this week for his first overseas visit as president. He's currently in England ahead of the G7 summit, which begins in Cornwall on Friday.

Trump, meanwhile, has been spending considerable time at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, he "is bathed in adulation."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Opposing His Renomination, Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell 'A Dangerous Man'

"Your record gives me grave concern," Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Jerome Powell. "Over and over, you have acted to make our banking system less safe."

Jake Johnson ·

Press Freedom Groups to Convene People's Tribunal on Murders of Journalists

"We're taking killers of journalists to The Hague because states won't do it."

Julia Conley ·

Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate Excoriate World Leaders for 'Blah, Blah, Blah' Climate Failures

While Uganda's Nakate said humanity "cannot adapt to extinction," Thunberg from Sweden said lack of action is "a betrayal of all present and future generations."

Andrea Germanos ·

Flotilla Protest at Manchin's Yacht Tells Right-Wing Democrat: 'Don't Sink Our Bill'

"He's not listening to us, he's listening to Big Money. That's why we're here at his yacht in D.C."

Jake Johnson ·

'We Aren't Bluffing': Progressives Hold the Line as Pelosi Moves Ahead With Bipartisan Bill

"If we don't pass our agenda together—that's infrastructure AND paid leave, child care, climate action, and more—then we're leaving millions of working people behind."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo