Under the Trump administration, the United States’ global influence is waning.
A study conducted by data journalism website FiveThirtyEight found that, for the vast majority of countries, the presidency of Donald Trump has so far overseen a dramatic decrease in both American favorability and trust. Only a handful of nations buck this trend, including Israel and Russia, the latter of which is often seen as averse to liberal democratic interests.
It’s not hard to see why President Trump has ushered in a new era of unpopularity for the country he leads. His campaign made it a center-point to put “America First,” a slogan which entails an anti-globalist program. Further, the president, since assuming office, has taken several concrete steps to antagonize our recognized partners in global leadership.
The president officially withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial but ultimately beneficial trade agreement, in January. He may still choose to alter our participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, which details our trading relations with both Canada and Mexico, as well.
In February, the Trump administration ordered a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations, a development eerily similar to campaign calls to temporarily, but unequivocally, ban all Muslims from entering the country. Following court trouble, the order was amended to ban travelers from six nations and included a slightly broader range of exceptions. That order now faces an uncertain future; the Supreme Court will, presumably, decide its constitutionality in the near future.
In June, President Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, an agreement among nearly every nation in existence to take steps to combat harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses. This puts the U.S. in an unseemly position, as the only other member nations not to sign the accord, Nicaragua and Syria, are not particularly known for their upstanding moral leadership.
Additionally, President Trump has promised to build a big, beautiful border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and has hinted he might withdraw from an Obama-era deal containing Iran’s nuclear weapons development. Meanwhile, the president insults our closest allies and cozies up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s autocratic regime, tweeting fiery rhetoric toward North Korea that pushes us ever closer to nuclear war.
America seemed to sink to a uniquely unpopular position during the tail-end of the George W. Bush administration before miraculously rebounding during the back-to-back terms of President Barack Obama.
Now, however, the United States is once again descending into the same decrepit trough.