May 23, 2018

A Fundamental Challenge to U.S. Leadership Abroad

Special to RealClear World

In the weeks ahead, and in the wake of Washington visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, there is much at stake for the United States and its key allies in Europe. The U.S. decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal raises questions about future U.S. sanctions against European companies. A Transatlantic trade war remains possible over American steel tariffs. And U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that would be unprecedented if it occurs.

At home, President Trump’s supporters, at least, are unbowed by the challenges ahead. They see the president as a strong leader, with roughly a third of Americans (31 percent), including seven in ten Republicans, convinced that Trump is making the U.S. position in the world stronger.

The view from Europe, however, is quite different. Anti-Americanism is near record levels — not only among European publics, but also among some of the region’s economic and security experts.

Between 2016 and 2017, favorable views of the United States fell by double digits across seven of the 10 European countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center. This was part of a global pattern that saw the U.S. image decline across most of the 37 nations polled. Positive assessments of America were particularly weak in Spain (31 percent favorable), Germany (35 percent) and the Netherlands (37 percent). A 2017 Gallup survey on perceptions of U.S. leadership found comparable downward trends and results in Europe.

Read more at RealClear World