View Full Version : Poll: U.S. Gets Weak Marks On Global Relations

01-19-2009, 09:46 AM
Poll: U.S. gets weak marks on global relations


By Ellen Wulfhorst
Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States is viewed favorably by the majority in only two of 21 other countries with large economies, according to a survey released on Sunday, and it draws the harshest criticism for its foreign policy.

In research designed to measure global opinion and released days before Barack Obama takes office as U.S. president on Tuesday, India and Poland, along with the United States itself, were the only countries with majorities giving America a favorable rating.

The online poll of 22,000 people was conducted for Reuters by Ipsos Global Public Affairs, an international market research and polling company, in late November, weeks after Obama was elected to succeed President George W. Bush.

Bush leaves office with the country fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, world opinion stacked against the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the global economy in crisis.

The nations with the strongest unfavorable views overall of the United States were Russia and Turkey, followed by Argentina, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Ipsos polled people in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

The 22 countries make up 75 percent of the world's gross domestic product, Ipsos said.

The survey sought to determine what people think is important for a country to be respected and how favorably they view the United States, Ipsos said.

The worst reviews came in the realm of global relations.

Only the United States and India had majorities giving America favorable ratings on whether it contributes to international peace and cooperation. The United States received the least favorable views from Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, Russia and Brazil.

The nations surveyed named respect for human rights as the most important factor for a nation to earn respect, followed by respect for its citizens' rights and contributing to international peace and cooperation.

"The big question looking forward will be, will the Obama administration be able to improve the United States, especially on those three attributes -- on respecting human rights, respecting citizen rights, and peace and cooperation," said Clifford Young, a spokesman for Ipsos.

Although the United States earned good reviews for having a good standard of living and contributing to the global economy, the people surveyed ranked those values far lower in importance.

Overall, the United States was viewed favorably by 72 percent of Indians, 53 percent of Poles and 74 percent of Americans. Sixty percent of Russians and 55 percent of Turks gave the United States unfavorable ratings.

Elsewhere, those viewing the United States unfavorably outnumbered those with a favorable view in nine countries. In six countries the United States had more favorable ratings than unfavorable, and it was a draw in Britain and South Korea.

The poll, the first of its kind conducted by Ipsos, was taken online and the results were balanced by age, gender, city population and education levels, the survey said. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.