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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."


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