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ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

The tireless researchers at Pew have just released their annual Global Attitudes Survey, which polls members of the public in 25 countries with questions about who runs the world, who should run the world, what they think of the US vs China, and so on. The full report is worth your time, but here is Alex Kliment (@SaoSasha) with a few highlights that stood out:


The world distrusts Trump, but still wants the US to lead

Most respondents outside the US have negative views of the US president – about 70 percent said they aren’t confident he’ll “do the right thing” in global affairs. But 63 percent of respondents said, often with large majorities, that they prefer a world led by the US to a world led by China. The only major outlier here was Russia.

From Russia with (a lot less) Love

Most foreigners’ views of Trump have improved slightly from the terrible lows set last year. And he remains very popular in the Philippines, Israel, Nigeria and Kenya. But one staggering change was the collapse in support among Russians, where confidence in the US president soared to 53 percent after he was elected, but fell to 19 percent this year. This reflects the fact that despite the apparent affection between Trump and Putin, the US president hasn’t delivered much for Moscow.

They’re with Her

The world leader who rated highest among those surveyed is (shocker) not Trump. Nor is it Putin. Even Xi Jinping, for all he has done to expand Chinese power, has yet to convince the rest of the globe that he should lead it. It was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Embattled at home, trusted abroad.

China is popular with the kids 

Favorable views of China in the US have fallen from 44 to 38 percent as Washington and Beijing have locked horns over trade. But among younger people, positive views outnumber negative ones by a sizeable 15-point margin.

Most countries still see the US as the leading economic power, but…

There are a few notable exceptions: China is seen as the leader in Australia – and has been for a decade. Meanwhile, 59 percent of Germans polled rate China ahead of the US. Two years ago it was about 30 percent.

 

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Biden's first scheduled call with a world leader will be with Canada's Justin Trudeau. What's going on with the Keystone Pipeline?

Well, Biden said that that's it. Executive order, one of the first is that he will stop any construction or development of the Keystone Pipeline. This is of course an oil pipeline that would allow further oil sands oil to come to the United States. The infrastructure is significantly overstretched, it's led to backlogs, inefficiency, accidents, all the rest, but it also facilitates more energy development and keeps prices comparatively down if you get it done. So, there are lots of reasons why the energy sector in Canada wants it. Having said all of that, Trudeau, even though he's been a supporter of Keystone XL, let's keep in mind that he did not win support in Alberta, which is where the big energy patch in Canada is located. This is a real problem for the government of Alberta, Canada is a very decentralized federal government, even more so than the United States. The premier of Alberta is immensely unhappy with Biden right now, they've taken a $1.5 billion equity stake in the project. I expect there will actually be litigation against the United States by the government of Alberta. But Trudeau is quite happy with Biden, his relationship was Trump was always walking on eggshells. The USMCA in negotiations ultimately successful but were very challenging for the Canadians, so too with the way Trump engaged in relations on China. All of this, the fact that Trump left the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Paris Climate Accords, WHO, all of that is stuff that Trudeau strongly opposed. He's going to be much more comfortable with this relationship. He's delighted that the first call from Biden is to him. And it certainly creates a level of normalcy in the US-Canada relationship that is very much appreciated by our neighbors to the North.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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