Poll Shows US Image Problem in Europe Persists as Biden Embarks on Trip to Repair Ties

Europeans still hold largely negative opinions of the United States as a world partner and ally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, just as President Joe Biden makes his first trip outside the country since replacing former President Donald Trump in the White House.

A new survey conducted by the German Marshall Fund and the Bertelsmann Foundation across 11 European countries shows America's reputation abroad remains stifled, particularly by the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic last year. A majority of French and German respondents agreed with March research which found the Trump administration could have avoided nearly 400,000 COVID-19 deaths if it had formed a more effective strategy.

Several recent U.S. polls show Americans believe that Biden's presence in office for the past four months has already improved the country's image among its allies. But this latest survey of Europeans shows he's created no "bounce" whatsoever.

Europeans' views of the U.S. remain 10 points lower than they were just prior to the coronavirus pandemic. By contrast, China's image among Europeans has actually seen a slight increase since the same survey was conducted in early 2020.

According to the survey, only half of Germans see the U.S. as a reliable partner, with a majority citing the death of 600,000 Americans from coronavirus as a large reason for this pessimistic view of their longtime trans-Atlantic ally. Fewer than one-quarter of Turkish adults said they trust the United States as a global partner.

About 60 percent of French people surveyed said they see the U.S. as a reliable partner, alongside 67 percent of British people and 76 percent of Polish adults.

Biden is set to attend G7, NATO and European Union summits this week, ending four months of a presidency that has largely focused on domestic issues and reversing much of Trump's agenda. Biden declared last week that his first trip abroad as president is "about America rallying the world's democracies" and confronting "the harmful activities of the governments of China and Russia."

Biden's "America is back" narrative seeks to repair damages incurred during Trump's administration. The former president repeatedly threatened to pull out of NATO altogether.

"In this moment of global uncertainty, as the world still grapples with a once-in-a-century pandemic, this trip is about realizing America's renewed commitment to our allies and partners," Biden wrote in an opinion piece published by The Washington Post on Saturday.

As Newsweek reported Sunday, Chinese state-run media outlets have blasted Biden's foreign policy pursuits and accused Washington of trying to turn the G7 summit into an "anti-China, anti-Russia chorus." Back in January, these same Beijing mouthpiece publications claimed Biden Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds "identical" views to that of his predecessor under Trump, Mike Pompeo.

This latest German Marshall Fund and the Bertelsmann Foundation survey was conducted among 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Newsweek reached out to the White House and U.S. State Department for any additional remarks Monday afternoon.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) takes part in a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden (on screen) in Berlin on April 22, 2021. - US President Biden, in a massive diplomatic undertaking for a three-month-old administration, is welcoming 40 leaders for two days of meetings, including the presidents of adversaries China and Russia and Pope Francis. KAY NIETFELD /pool/Getty Images