World approval of Donald Trump's US leadership drops to new low

The US is now on nearly even footing with China and barely more popular than Russia

World approval of Donald Trump's US leadership drops to new low

US President Donald Trump listens to remarks as he attends a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring former US Senator Bob Dole in the Rotunda of the US Capitol | Image: CNP/SIPA USA/PA Images

New figures show the image of US leadership under Donald Trump is weaker worldwide than under his two predecessors.

The Gallup survey says average approval of his leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at "a new low" of 30%.

The approval rating is based on surveys conducted between March and November last year.

The rating is down 18 percentage points from the 48% approval rating in the last year of President Barack Obama's administration, and is four points lower than the previous low of 34% in the last year of President George W Bush.

It says disapproval of US leadership increased almost as much as approval declined.

The 43% average disapproval, up 15 points from the previous year, sets a new record not only for the US but for any other major global power that Gallup has asked about in the past decade.

Source: Gallup

Overall, Germany has replaced the US as the top-rated global power in the world, with an approval rating of 41%.

The US is now on nearly even footing with China (31%) and barely more popular than Russia (27%).

The agency says out of 134 countries, US leadership approval ratings declined substantially - by 10 percentage points or more - in 65 countries that include many longtime allies and partners.

Portugal, Belgium, Norway and Canada led the declines, with approval ratings dropping 40 points or more in each country.

While majorities in each of these countries approved of US leadership in 2016, majorities disapproved in 2017.

Source: Gallup

In contrast, US leadership approval increased 10 points or more in just four countries: Liberia (+17), Macedonia (+15), Israel (+14), and Belarus (+11).

Gallup also notes that interviewing in Israel took place before Mr Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Leadership approval ratings in Europe, at 25%, are not the lowest on record - the ratings during the last two years of George W Bush's administration still hold that distinction.

In Asia, approval dropped to 30%, tying the previous low that was measured during the Bush administration.

Africa as a whole remained the bright spot for US leadership approval, as it has been for the past decade.

Nonetheless, the approval rating for the region is at its lowest level yet, clinging to a bare majority (51%) that may be at risk after Mr Trump's alleged remarks about the continent last week.