The U.S. leadership's global approval rating has dropped from 48 to 30 percent since President Donald Trump took office, according to the annual Gallup poll "Rating World Leaders" released at the end of February.
"A lot of goodwill that's been built up for many years for America has been dissipated by President Trump, and I don't think we will ever get back to the point that it was at a few years ago," commented Harvey Dzodin, senior research fellow at the Center for China And Globalization.
The survey, conducted since 2007, measures to what extent adults approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of China, Germany, Russia and the U.S. Results are based on in-person and telephone interviewswith about 1,000 people in each of the 133 countries polled.
Throughout the survey's history, the U.S. had generally polled in the 40-percent median approval range, but after Trump entered the White House, the approval rating dropped from 48 to 30 percent, and it remained at around 31 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, the disapproval rating of the U.S. at 40 percent was significantly worse than those of Russia (31 percent), China (28 percent) or Germany (22 percent). The most striking disapproval numbers come from America's former allies in Europe.
But from a totally different point of view, Chen Lijian, an assistant professor at the University of Dayton, believes Trump is doing great on his "America First Strategy" and has scored achievements that "former U.S. President Barack Obama can only dream about."
According to him, Trump terminated the Iran nuclear deal because it is bad for U.S interests. "The Obama regime gave 150 billion dollars to the Iranian regime and got nothing in return. If you talk about the interests of the United States, President Trump is doing a better job. People don't know about those facts," Chen said.
The president has faced even more pressure recently. The House of Representatives voted against building a wall on the border with Mexico; the Hanoi summit with Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un ended prematurely; his former lawyer called him a racist, a con man, and a cheat in sworn testimony; and now House Democrats have sent more than 80 letters demanding documents from family members, business associates, political confidants and others with connections to the president, marking the start of a major investigation of whether he and his administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power.
Chen is still very supportive of Trump's performance, emphasizing that he is the president of the United States, not of the world. He said, "Every aspect of the U.S. including healthcare, job creation, military and racial relations are improving. Economy is booming. President Obama can only achieve that in his dream."
According to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. trade deficit soared to 621 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, the highest in a decade.The 68.8-billion-dollar annual increase, or 12.5 percent, came along with a net loss in goods and services trade of 59.8 billion dollars in December, up 15.2 percent from 51.9 billion dollars in the same period a year earlier.
The country's trade gap with China, Mexico, and the European Union also widened sharply, the report showed. The goods trade deficit with China increased 11.6 percent to an all-time high of 419.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
Harvey Dzodin completely disagreed with Chen's argument, commenting that Trump "is a disaster" and "his trouble is just beginning." According to Dzodin, most Americans don't support Trump either in general or in particular fields like foreign policy, and the president has done a great disservice not only to America, but also to the whole world.
"I believe it is one man's warped thinking that takes Americans down the path to ruin," Dzodin commented. "Instead of making America great again, he is making America reviled again."