A new study by Gallup shows fewer people believe in American leadership around the world. With only 31 percent approval, the United States' rating is lower than Germany and China -- and in a tie with Russia.

The report suggests that people around the world no longer believe in America’s international commitments. It says “the unpredictability of the U.S. president in now somewhat expected.”

Both China and Russia gained in the new study. China’s median approval rating rose to 34 percent and Russia’s rating reached 30 percent. Russia and China’s approval ratings increased in nations where the U.S. decreased, including Mexico and Turkey.

Germany received the highest median approval rating, at 39 percent. But it was Germany’s first rating below 40 percent in ten years.

Jon Clifton is Gallup’s Global Managing Partner. He said in the report that Trump’s “America First” policy was not winning friends around the world. It also said that Trump has taken many unpopular decisions since he took office. These include pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. It also includes Trump’s trade wars with Europe and China.

Clifton said that the effects of Trump’s actions will hurt American interests abroad. He pointed to research from Dartmouth College and the University of Sydney that found “public opinion about U.S. foreign policy in foreign countries does affect their policies toward the U.S.”

The report said the U.S.'s leadership image is very poor in Europe. Its disapproval rating was 59 percent, up three points from 2017.

While Europeans’ view of American leadership was low, their view of Russian leadership was even lower, at 21 percent. They equally disliked the leadership of Russia and the United States. Nearly six in 10 Europeans disapproved of the leadership of the two countries.

Europeans had the highest rating for Germany’s leadership, with 56 percent approving.

In Asia, the approval of U.S. leadership increased slightly since last year, but it was still very low at 32 percent. The majorities of just five countries, Israel, the Philippines, Mongolia, Nepal and Myanmar, approved of American leadership.

American image was strongest in Africa, the Gallup study said. More than half of Africans in the study viewed American leadership favorably.

The countries with the most favorable view of the leadership of the United States were Togo, Guinea, Niger and Ghana. Africans also had a favorable view of China, which has invested heavily in the continent.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.

median (adj.) /ˈmiːdɪən/ -  the middle value in a series of values arranged from smallest to largest

  • What is the median price of homes in this area?

accord (n.) /əˈkɔːd/ - An official agreement or treaty.

  • Opposition groups refused to sign the accord.

favourably (adv.) /ˈfeɪv(ə)rəbli/ - To the advantage of someone or something.

  • The deal will work out favourably for the company.


Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.

1. How many people in the survey trust the American government?

2. Which country received the highest median approval rating?

3. Which countries in Asia approved of the American leadership?


Exercise 3

Make a sentence.

Make sentences using these words.

median, accord, favourably


Exercise 4


Have a discussion on following questions.

1. What do you think about the results of this study?

2. Why do you think that there is a lack in confidence about the US leadership around the world?

3. How would you rate the leadership of your country?

4. Which country or countries has the best leadership in your opinion?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by VOA.