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!

This week, the market value of Tencent, China's biggest video game company, nosedived after a state media outlet suggested that online gaming was as addictive and destructive as opium. Tencent immediately pledged to cap the number of hours people can play, and to keep minors off its platforms.

It's the latest example of a months-long crackdown on major Chinese technology firms that until recently were viewed as some of the world's most powerful and successful companies, as well as a source of national pride. Beijing's about-face on its own tech titans could have big implications for China, and beyond.

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Should people get COVID vaccine booster shots? Not yet, says the World Health Organization, which is pushing for rich nations or those with access to jabs to hold off until at least the end of September so all countries get to fully vaccinate at least 10 percent of their populations before some jump ahead with boosters. But the WHO's call has fallen on deaf ears in nations like Israel, France, Germany and Russia, which are already planning to offer boosters, in part to better protect people against the more contagious delta variant. What's more, mRNA vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna are recommending supplemental doses for the same reason. The problem is that, beyond the obvious moral imperative for equal access to vaccines, if the rich continue hoarding jabs while vaccination rates stay low elsewhere, the virus will continue to thrive — and mutate into new, potentially even more infectious variants that sooner or later will reach every corner of the planet.

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80: If polar ice caps continue to melt at their current pace due to climate change, 80 percent of all emperor penguins will be wiped out by the end of the century because they need the ice for breeding and keeping their offspring safe. American authorities want to list emperor penguins, which only live in Antarctica, as an endangered species so that US fishing vessels will be required to protect them when operating in their habitat.

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Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for Eurasia Group, shares updates on recent COVID-19 policy developments:

The Biden administration extended an eviction moratorium even after the Supreme Court said they couldn't, what's next?

Well, the CDC imposed a nationwide eviction moratorium in light of increased risk from evicted people because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Supreme Court in June ruled that they (CDC) overextended their authority in doing so and mandated that the moratorium expire on schedule in July. A group of progressive activists weren't happy about this and raised a huge stink in Congress, but Congress recessed for their August vacation before they could solve the problem, putting big pressure on President Biden to extend the moratorium even though he said he didn't think that it would pass constitutional muster. The CDC did it anyway, extending the moratorium until October 3rd, which is a time that's short enough to probably avoid it being overturned by lawsuits, but long enough that Congress has time to figure out how to either extend it on a bipartisan basis or put more money into a rental assistance fund that few people have taken advantage of so far. This whole incident shows the power of progressive activists in the Biden administration who were able to elevate the profile of this issue and potentially prevent millions of people from losing their homes this summer.

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On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer takes a look at the yin and the yang of alcohol's role in high-level diplomacy and society at large. Alcohol can bring people together just as easily as it can tear them apart. From a 1995 Clinton/Yeltsin Summit where a drunk Yeltsin almost derailed Bosnian peace talks, to Obama's Beer Summit and the recent G7 Summit, booze plays a part in how world leaders interact. Globally, alcohol consumption has been steadily increasing, by over 70 percent between 1990 and 2017, according to one report. . Low and middle-income nations like Vietnam, India, and China are a driving force behind that trend, with drinking in Southeast Asia rising by over 34 percent between 2010 and 2017. And yet, amidst this global booze boom, the world has only grown more and more divided.

Watch the episode: The (political) power of alcohol

Equestrian jumpers, and their horses, are disciplined species. They don't appreciate surprises very much.

But many participants were caught off guard during this week's individual jumping qualifiers in Tokyo by a very daunting statue of a sumo wrestler on the hurdle course (which is dotted with statues paying homage to traditional Japanese culture, like geisha kimonos, cherry blossoms, and taiko drums).

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For Dick Pound, the longest serving member of the International Olympic Committee, protesting at the Games is fine — as long as it doesn't "interfere" with the competition itself or awards ceremonies. The Olympics, in his view, are an oasis of calm in the middle of an increasingly tense world, and "we shouldn't be spoiling that by pointing out the obvious , which is that there are social and political problems." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World on US public television.

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