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US image abroad has improved with Biden election: Pew survey

US image abroad has improved with Biden election: Pew survey
The international image of the United States has improved since Democrat Joe Biden's election, according to a new Pew report - Copyright AFP Brendan Smialowski
The international image of the United States has improved since Democrat Joe Biden's election, according to a new Pew report - Copyright AFP Brendan Smialowski

The international image of the United States has improved following the election of Democrat Joe Biden but concerns remain over the health of American democracy, according to a survey published on Thursday.

The Pew Research Center report, which surveyed the publics in 16 nations, was released as Biden was in Europe on his first overseas trip as president.

The United States was generally held in low regard in public opinion surveys conducted during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Of 12 nations surveyed this year and in 2020, Pew said a median of 75 percent expressed confidence in Biden to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared with 17 percent for Trump last year.

In France, 65 percent of those surveyed said they see the United States positively, up from just 31 percent last year.

Similar improvements of 25 percentage points or more were found in Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands and Canada, Pew said.

Other countries surveyed — Australia, Britain, Greece, South Korea, Spain and Sweden — also saw a jump in US favorability ratings.

Looking at 12 countries polled during the first year of their presidencies, a median of 77 percent described Biden as well-qualified to be president, compared with just 16 percent who felt this way about Trump.

Pew said a median of 89 percent across the 16 publics surveyed approved of Biden’s decision to rejoin the World Health Organization and 85 percent supported rejoining the Paris climate agreement.

Sixty-seven percent of the 16 publics said the United States is a “very” or “somewhat” reliable partner with 57 percent saying they expected relations to remain the same and 39 percent saying they expected them to improve.

Pew also surveyed attitudes towards the United States following the November presidential election and the January 6 attack on the US Congress by Trump supporters.

Seventeen percent said democracy in the United States is a “good example” for other countries to follow while 57 percent said it “used to be a good example but has not been in recent years.”

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Twenty-three percent said it has “never” been a good example.

The Pew survey of 16,254 people was conducted between March and May in 12 to 16 countries depending on the questions.

They were: Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.

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