No Longer Mon Ami? French Survey Reveals Waning Respect for the United States
The good people of France have spoken, and they are not too impressed with the political state of affairs across the Atlantic. The traditionally strong ties between the United States and France date back centuries, but they have been strained under the Trump administration, such is the gist of a survey recently commissioned by the French Foundation for Political Innovation and the American Jewish Committee.
As reported by France 24, the online survey was conducted among more than one thousand respondents earlier this month. The results of the study indicate a growing sense of detachment and lack of confidence in the U.S. as an ally that French people can rely on. Only 44 percent of those surveyed feel that the U.S. is still a strong ally.
More than 50 percent of French people do not think highly of President Donald Trump, and this includes supporters of the National Rally political party that aligns to the extreme right. Only 42 percent of National Rally followers approve of Trump as a political leader.
The last time a similar survey was conducted was in 2014, when former President Barack Obama was serving his second term in office. Back then, 77 percent of French people trusted in the U.S. as a strong ally.
More specific findings of the survey explain why people in France feel the way they do about President Trump: 78 percent feel that the global trade war started by the U.S. President will have a negative impact on French economic growth, and 88 percent dislike Trump's stance on climate change, which is a passionate issue for the French people.
Interestingly, older French citizens are more likely to be disappointed in the current state of diplomatic affairs between the U.S. and France. Younger survey respondents are more hopeful, but more than 30 percent of them believe that things will be better once Trump exits the White House.
As for their country's standing in the geopolitical theater, French people were pleased to learn that President Emanuel Macron is currently considered to be one of the most influential leaders around the world. In 2016, former President Barack Obama was the most respected political leader, and that was the last year the U.S. held that position. One of factors contributing to the positive view of President Macron around the world is that he has personally tried to improve relations with his American counterpart; in fact, Trump plans to visit France later this year instead of celebrating Veterans Day in the U.S.
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