President Joe Biden has promised the world that “America is back.”
As he takes his first trip abroad as president, a Pew Research Center global survey released Thursday shows that many in advanced economies believe it.
Trust in the U.S. president fell to historic lows in most countries surveyed during Trump’s presidency, according to Pew.
Under Biden, it has soared. In the 12 countries surveyed both this year and last, a median of 75% of respondents expressed confidence in Biden to “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” Pew found, compared with 17% for Trump last year. Sixty-two percent of respondents now have a favorable view of the United States vs. 34% at the end of Trump’s presidency.
“The election of Joe Biden as president has led to a dramatic shift in America’s international image,” the Pew report reads.
The findings come a day after Biden touched down in England on the first leg of a whirlwind trip through Europe. On his agenda: a meeting of the Group of Seven nations in Cornwall, a NATO summit in Brussels, and tête-à-têtes with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Biden cast his voyage as a sort of redemption tour — a chance to revitalize America’s strained alliances and rally like-minded democracies to “meet the challenges and deter the threats of this new age.”
The Pew findings suggest that he will encounter leaders whose publics are confident in his leadership and supportive of key foreign policy priorities.
The United States’ favorability rating grew at least 23% from last year in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, and a majority of respondents in all four see the country positively.
Among all 16 publics surveyed this spring, German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranks just ahead of Biden in the percentage of respondents who said they trust the leader’s decision-making on world affairs, with a median score of 77%. But Biden, with 74%, garnered higher rates of confidence than French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“In many cases, however, the share who have confidence in Biden is not as high as the share who had confidence in [President Barack] Obama at the start or end of his presidency,” the Pew report notes.
A median of 89% of people approved of the United States rejoining the World Health Organization, and a median of 85% supported the U.S. rejoining the Paris climate agreement. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement was widely criticized among advanced economies. Since taking office, Biden has sought to position the U.S. as a global leader in fighting climate change.
Pew said its 2021 findings on the United States’ international image were based on data from nationally representative surveys of more than 16,000 adults in 16 advanced economies conducted over the phone from March to May. Findings related to the coronavirus pandemic also incorporated a survey of roughly 2,600 U.S. adults conducted in February 2021 using Pew’s American Trends Panel.