President Trump traveled to Canada on Friday, much to his apparent chagrin. For days, Trump has been publicly challenging the country and its prime minister, Justin Trudeau; on Wednesday, CNN reported he had accused the Canadians of having burned down the White House in the War of 1812. (They did not.)
Trump’s trip was on the occasion of the G-7 summit, a gathering of the leaders of many of the world’s largest economies: Germany, Italy, France, Japan and the United Kingdom, in addition to Trump and Trudeau. The leaders of many of those countries are similarly unenthusiastic about Trump or have sparred with him. He has fought with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fought with French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter and been chastised publicly by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
We have known global views of American leadership took a hit once Trump was inaugurated. In January, after Trump’s “shithole” countries comments were reported, we looked at data from Gallup showing the broad slide in approval of American leadership between 2016 and 2017. That survey included broad geographic groups, in which views of American leadership slipped by various amounts.
It is worth noting, though, the shift in approval is not only by the leaders of foreign countries or about President Trump. Last June, even before Trump announced possible new tariffs targeting our major trading partners, Pew Research Center found big shifts in how people around the world viewed the United States.
In three of the other G-7 countries a majority of citizens have a favorable view of the United States: The United Kingdom, Japan and Italy. In 2016, they all did.
Pew found favorable views of the United States were at or above 50 percent in about half of the countries they surveyed. In 2016, 80 percent of countries had majorities that viewed the United States favorably.
As you can see on the map above, views in the G-7 countries slipped across the board. In fact, of the 37 countries surveyed, the percent of respondents viewing the United States favorably fell in 30 of them from 2016 to 2017.
The exceptions? Israel (where there was no change), Jordan, Hungary, Nigeria, Greece and Vietnam — all of which saw increases in favorability of 6 points or fewer.
Then there is Russia.
Russia was skeptical of the United States in 2016 but embraced the country in 2017. Favorable views of the United States increased by 26 points from 2016 to 2017. Russians now view the United States about as favorably as do Canadians and more so than Germans. Even views of American leadership, mired near the bottom of the chart, saw an increase according to Gallup.
Russia was once part of the G-7, back when it was known as the G-8. After Russian President Vladimir Putin seized Crimea from Ukraine, though, Russia was booted from the group.
On Friday morning, before heading to Canada, Trump suggested Russia’s membership be reinstated. No wonder Russia loves the guy.