Other countries have a much more positive perception of the United States now that Joe Biden is in office, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday which shows international opinion has rebounded significantly from the historic lows it hit under Donald Trump.
In 12 countries surveyed both this year and last, Pew found 75% of respondents expressed confidence in Biden, compared with 17% for Trump in 2020.
Some 62% of respondents said they now have a favorable view of the U.S., a number that was at 34% by the end of Trump’s tenure.
The favorable ratings stem from a more positive perception of Biden’s leadership abilities and his policies, the polling shows.
A median of 77% described Biden as well-qualified to be president versus 16% who felt this way about Trump.
Meanwhile, a median of 89% across 16 countries surveyed by Pew approved of the U.S. rejoining the World Health Organization and 85% supported the U.S. rejoining the Paris climate agreement.
Pew deemed the boost in favorability from 2020 to 2021 one of the U.S.’s “steepest recoveries in years,” noting that ratings of the U.S. in most countries were “at or near” historic lows last summer.
Attitudes toward the U.S. vary greatly between countries. Ratings are the highest in South Korea, where 77% have a positive view of the U.S., but are also elevated in Japan, France and the U.K. Meanwhile, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand came out at the other end of the spectrum, with New Zealand marking the only country where most people didn’t report having a favorable view of the U.S.
74%. That’s the median level of confidence the countries surveyed reported having in Biden to “do the right thing in world affairs.”
Despite the generally favorable view, the surveyed countries did not express great confidence in the U.S. as an ally. A median of 56% of the 16 countries polled said the U.S. is “somewhat” reliable, while just 11% deemed America “very reliable.” Other countries also had divided views on America’s domestic policies and the functioning of its political system.
This is not the first time international opinion of the U.S. has experienced fluctuation. Pew highlights that presidential transitions have had a major impact on overall attitudes toward the U.S. over the past two decades. “When Barack Obama took office in 2009, ratings improved in many nations compared with what they had been during George W. Bush’s administration, and when Trump entered the White House in 2017, ratings declined sharply,” Pew said in an analysis of its polling. Surveys throughout Trump’s presidency tied his global popularity to his leadership style, which majorities found to be “arrogant, intolerant and dangerous,” as well as some of his policies, including his withdrawal from climate change agreements and the Iran nuclear deal.