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!

The impact of Covid-19 is being felt in every household, changing the way we live our lives. The pandemic continues to reinforce the drive for cooperation between communities, governments and businesses in order to combat the threat.

Microsoft responded to the pandemic in its home state through efforts like donating protective equipment, making boxed lunches for families and using technology to better understand the spread of the virus over the last year. Now, we're sharing six ways Microsoft is pulling together with the community to lend a hand to fellow Washingtonians in 2021 including helping with vaccination efforts. To read more, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Europe has been hit by a green wave in recent years. Green parties in countries as varied as Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Finland, and Sweden have made sizable electoral gains, with some now sitting in national governments.

The Green phenomenon seems to be gaining yet more momentum in the lead up to some crucial European elections (Germany, France) in the months ahead. What explains the green shift, and where might this trend be headed?

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Guilty: Eleven months after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died under the knee of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, on a Minneapolis street corner, we finally have a verdict in the murder trial. On Tuesday, a jury found Chauvin guilty of all three charges: second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. The verdict was celebrated by advocates for racial justice and police reform. Last summer, video footage of Floyd suffocating to death as he cried out "I can't breathe" galvanized anti-racism protests across America (some of which turned violent) that went global. We're watching to see if the jury's verdict gives fresh impetus to the nationwide movement for police accountability and broader criminal justice reform, both of which have been met with fierce resistance from law-and-order conservatives and police unions. And we'll also be keeping an eye on the sentence, as Chauvin faces up to 75 years in prison for his crimes.

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120,000: Ukraine warns that Russia will soon have as many as 120,000 troops on its eastern border, a larger presence than when Moscow seized Crimea in 2014. Kyiv wants to join NATO to deter the Russian forces from invading the Donbas region, where about half the population are ethnic Russians.

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During a pandemic, the work of reporters around the world is particularly important to ensure transparency about the scope of outbreaks and the measures that governments are taking to contain them. But in many countries, press freedom has been declining since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Press freedom took a bit hit over the past year, as governments across the world doubled down on censoring media that criticized their handling of the pandemic, and locking up reporters for reporting the facts. Reporters Without Borders today published its annual World Press Freedom Index, which takes a microscope to every country, ranking the ability of its media to report freely and independently. Here's a look at how countries' scores have changed over the past year.

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on World In 60 Seconds (aka Around the World in 180 Seconds) and discusses Xi Jinping's message to the US, Russia's buildup at the Ukraine border, and Cuba's new leader.

What did you make of Xi Jinping's message to the US at China's annual Boao Forum?

Well, he didn't mention the United States directly, but he basically said that we don't accept hegemonic powers, we don't accept people that are setting the rules for other countries. Basically, consistently Xi Jinping saying that the Chinese want to be treated as equals with the United States. They're going to be rule makers for themselves. The Chinese political and economic system, every bit as legitimate as that of the United States. This is going to be a real fight. The American perspective is that the relationship between the two is going to be very competitive, whether it's a happy competition or an unhealthy competition depends on the Chinese. Xi Jinping's perspective is the Americans are not treating the Chinese with due respect. And that's going to play out on security, it's going to play out in climate, on the economy. I mean, you name it.

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One of the world's most famous political dissidents may die in a Russian prison this week.

Alexei Navalny has been on a hunger strike since March 31 over the authorities' refusal to let his own medical team examine him after he developed signs of tuberculosis. Now, one of his aides says Navalny is "close to death."

The fate of Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic — who was poisoned last summer, allegedly by state officials, treated in Germany, and then jailed upon his return to Russia — is being closely watched both inside and outside the country.

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The Biden administration's much ballyhooed Earth Day Summit this week promises to be revealing. We're going to learn a little about what additional action a few dozen of the world's largest emitters are willing to take on climate change, and a lot more about which countries are willing to take such action at the behest of the United States.

Call it a situational assessment of the status of American power just shy of Biden's 100th day in office.

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