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The countries who don't love Trump

Joe Biden surrounded by the German, Iranian, Chinese, and Canadian national flags.

Last week, we wrote about governments that are hoping for a Trump victory. This week, we look at the other side of that question.

Over the past four years, many world leaders have expressed confusion and frustration over US President Trump's erratic leadership style — with some expressing a lack of trust in his administration's commitment to a constructive foreign policy.

This is reflected in global polls, which show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

Many nations are therefore hoping that a Biden administration would reorient the US approach to international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations. So, which countries might be rooting for the Biden-Harris ticket?

Canada. It's no secret that Canada's progressive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former US President Barack Obama were kindred spirits who saw eye-to-eye on issues like environmental protection, human rights and the importance of multilateral institutions for security, trade, and the fight against climate change.

Meanwhile, US-Canada relations under President Trump plummeted after Trump followed through on his pledge to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a 12-nation trade deal that included Canada — while also slapping tariffs on some Canadian imports.

It's an open secret, Canadian reporter Althia Raj recently told GZERO, that Prime Minister Trudeau is hoping that a President Joe Biden would allow the US and Canada to resume joint clean energy and trade cooperation initiatives (popular with many Canadians) that have been upended by President Trump. (Trade with the US accounts for a whopping 20 percent of Canada's total GDP.)

Iran. The stakes of the US election for Iran could not be higher, Iranian journalist Negar Mortazavi recently told GZERO: "I would argue that US foreign policy impacts certain populations and countries in the world even more than [it impacts] Americans themselves."

Perhaps no country has been squeezed harder by the Trump administration than Iran. In 2018, President Trump walked away from the Iran nuclear deal and swiftly imposed a "maximum pressure campaign" that has blocked Tehran from exporting crude oil and accessing global financial markets. As a result of crippling economic sanctions, the value of Iran's currency has hit record lows, while much of the middle class has been plunged into poverty.

Many Iranians are enthusiastic about the prospects of some sort of deténte should Trump lose in November, because Biden has vowed to return to a policy of engagement with Iran, which would include a return to the Iran nuclear deal, as well as lifting (some) sanctions.

Germany. Many European leaders, including Germany, remain openly fed up with President Trump's impulsive policymaking. In a recent Pew survey, only 26 percent of Germans said they have a positive view of the US, while a mere 10 percent said they had confidence in Trump's handling of international affairs.

For Chancellor Angela Merkel and her soon-to-be successor, a Biden administration would allow Germany — and Europe — to close the book on what some analysts have called the Trump administration's "withdrawal doctrine." The hope is that Biden would recommit the US to treaties abandoned by President Trump (including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and Paris climate accords), and display a renewed commitment to multilateralism as a cornerstone of US foreign policy.

China. Under President Trump, the US and China have been on a collision course that has only intensified in recent weeks. "There is an increasing worry that there could be a hot war [between the US and China] over the South China Sea, over Taiwan," Hong Kong-based journalist Wang Xiangwei recently told GZERO.

Beijing likely hopes that without President Trump's bluster, US-China relations might cool down in the near term. Indeed, from China's perspective, the prospect of military escalation would greatly diminish under a Biden presidency.

However, it's worth noting that while a President Biden might ease tensions somewhat in the near term, particularly on trade, his ability to ramp up coordination with US allies in Europe and Asia would create long-term problems for Beijing.

Want to know more about how the rest of the world sees the US election? Check out our entire project on it — interviews with local journalists in 24 different countries — here!

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When Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned Tuesday — plunging the country into chaos as it faces once-in-a-generation public health and economic crises — he became the fourteenth Italian to vacate the prime ministership in three decades. (For contrast, Germany has only had three chancellors since 1982, and France has had five presidents.)

But Conte, who had no previous political experience until he was tapped for the top job in 2018, is not so much throwing in the towel as he is taking a massive gamble that President Sergio Mattarella will again appoint him to head Conte's third coalition government in less than three years.

The recent dysfunction is unique even within the context of instability-prone Italian politics. How did Italy get here, and what might come next?

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Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

What did you think of Xi Jinping's speech at the virtual World Economic Forum?

Well, his last speech at the real World Economic Forum in Davos, I remember being there four years ago, and given that Trump had just been elected, Xi Jinping gives this big, "We want to stand up and be leaders while the Americans are doing America first." And generally speaking, was probably the most important speech of the week. People liked it. This is a pretty different environment, not so much because Trump has gone, but rather because support and belief in Xi Jinping is pretty low. I will say one thing that was generally well responded to was the call not to enter into a new Cold War. Anybody in the business community generally supports that. There's so much integration and interdependence between the US and the Chinese economies that when Xi Jinping says, "We need to find ways to continue to work together," I mean, this is the pro-globalization audience he's speaking to. They generally agree. But otherwise, the message fell pretty flat. So, the idea that China is going to be globally useful on issues of leadership, especially when it comes to anything that might threaten Beijing's sovereignty, they check global norms at the door. And a few examples of that, when Xi called for support for the rules-based international order, that's in obvious contrast with China's violation of the one country, two systems framework in Hong Kong. And they said, "Well, that's a domestic issue." Well, actually that's not what your agreement was with the British handover. And just because you're more powerful doesn't mean that norm doesn't matter anymore.

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Over the weekend, some 40,000 people in Moscow and thousands more across Russia braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Angry farmers take Indian fort: In a major and violent escalation of ongoing protests over new agriculture laws, thousands of Indian farmers broke through police barricades and stormed the historic Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday. At least one protester died in the chaos, while the government shut down internet service in parts of the capital. Farmers and the government are still deadlocked over the new laws, which liberalize agriculture markets in ways that farmers fear will undercut their livelihoods. The government has offered to suspend implementation for 18 months, but the farmers unions are pushing for a complete repeal. Given that some 60 percent of India's population works in agriculture, the standoff has become a major political test for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling BJP party.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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