The world leaders who love Trump

President Donald Trump pointing at a crowd

Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.


And yet, there are many world leaders who have gotten a lot out of his presidency — in ideological support or specific policies — and who won't be happy if he loses in November. Let's visit some of Trump's highest-profile fans.

Brazil. In 2018, an obscure, far-right lawmaker named Jair Bolsonaro swept to power with a brand of provocative anti-establishment politics so similar to the US president's that he earned the nickname "Trump of the Tropics." What's more, Trump's disdain for environmental regulation has helped Bolsonaro to avoid wider global censure for encouraging Amazon deforestation. But just as Trump's victory helped to legitimize rightwing populism around the globe, says Brazilian commentator Guga Chacra, Trump's loss could hurt Bolsonaro's own re-election bid for 2022.

The illiberal Europeans. Much of Western Europe is fed up with Trump, but the avowedly "illiberal" rightwing nationalist governments in Poland and Hungary are fervent admirers. When Polish President Andrzej Duda was on the verge of losing re-election this summer, he made a beeline for the White House for a photo-op that probably helped him to a narrow win. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, meanwhile, has already openly endorsed Trump for re-election.

Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has bet big on the Trump administration, and it's paid off. No American president in recent memory has been as accommodating to Israel's aims — whether in recognizing its control of the Golan Heights, walking out of the Iran nuclear deal, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, or brokering the normalization of ties with the UAE and Bahrain. As a result, Trump is hugely popular with Israelis, and he featured prominently in Bibi's own re-election campaign this summer. Netanyahu now faces growing protests — along with lingering graft charges – and he can ill-afford to see Trump fall from power, Tel Aviv-based commentator Neri Zilber recently told us.

India. New Delhi has been very, very pleased with one particular aspect of Trump's policy: his hard line on China. India has had testy ties with Beijing over the years, and they are getting worse as the two countries now jockey for 21st century Asian supremacy. So while previous US administrations had talked a big game on China but then gone soft behind closed doors, Trump, says Pramit Pal Chaudhuri of the Hindustan Times, "was willing to break China."

Russia. When Trump won in 2016, Russian lawmakers popped champagne. Four years later, the bilateral relationship is as toxic as ever — the US has imposed more sanctions while walking out of arms control treaties that Moscow wants to renegotiate. Still, Trump has been great for Vladimir Putin in a more general sense: Trump's view is that international politics is about transactions rather than values and he thinks America has no business playing global policeman. All of that lines up nicely with Putin's vision of a multipolar world in which US power is significantly diminished. If Trump loses, Putin would have to contend with a more traditional internationalist president in Joe Biden.

But let's be serious: what Putin probably wants most, whoever ultimately wins, is a disputed election that further undermines confidence in American democracy.

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

Meet Zoe Marshall, grandmother, fishmonger, and thriving business owner.

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When Zoe Marshall decided to switch careers in her forties and become a fishmonger, she was scared. After leaving her job of 23 years, Zoe was forced to pivot in order to keep her family's home. Despite challenges, she forged ahead, opening Sea-Licious. Accepting Visa payments in her fishmonger shop, this access to commerce helps Zoe provide convenience to her customers and confidence in their transactions. Though she's one of the only women in the fish market each morning, her business and its place in the local community are flourishing with Visa's help.

Learn more about Zoe and her story.

Listen: Can Big Government still rein in Big Tech or has it already lost control? Never before have just a few companies exerted such an outsized influence on humanity. Today's digital space, where we live so much of our daily lives, has increasingly become an area that national governments are unable to control. It may be time to start thinking of these corporations as nation-states in their own rights. Ian Bremmer speaks with Nicholas Thompson, CEO of the Atlantic and former WIRED editor-in-chief, about how to police the digital world.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

In the lead-up to this year's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, much of the attention has been focused on last summer's wildfires across the US and Europe, and more recently skyrocketing European energy prices. But what about Asia, the world's biggest and most populated region, which also has the highest share of global carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming? Asia has unique climate risks but also many opportunities for solutions, and whatever happens at COP26, Asian countries led by China and India are primed to lead the world in the struggle to make the planet greener before it's too late. In a live discussion moderated by Shari Friedman, Eurasia Group's Managing Director of Climate and Sustainability, global experts discussed these and other topics during the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit sponsored by Suntory.

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We're just days away from COP26, the landmark global climate conference that's been dubbed the last chance to get the climate crisis in check. In the lead-up to the event in Glasgow, dozens of countries have released new ambitions to reduce their future carbon footprints. For years, climate activists and experts have called on governments to introduce carbon pricing schemes – either through taxes or emissions-trading schemes. So who's heeded the warning? We take a look at the top ten carbon emitters' share of global emissions and details about their respective national carbon pricing schemes.

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Do cryptocurrencies make it harder to enforce foreign policy sanctions?

Well, that is exactly what the Biden administration worries about. As part of growing concerns of whether unregulated currencies undermine a whole host of policies, sanctions and foreign or trade policy should be a priority area. And just like others who wish to evade tracing of their wealth or transactions, the very states or their sanctioned entities should be assumed to resort to all options to evade restrictions while continuing to do business. So having cryptocurrencies undermining the ability to enforce strategic goals logically raises eyebrows in Washington.

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Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

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For Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM and now CEO of the Asia Society, the science on climate change is pretty much done, so the only unresolved issues are tech and — more importantly — lack of political leadership. He can't think of a single national political leader who can fill the role, and says the only way to get political action on climate is to mobilize public opinion.

Rudd joined for the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here and register here to watch part two Friday 10/22 at 8 am ET.

Taking place on October 21 and 22, the Sustainability Leaders Summit will go beyond preexisting narratives and debate priorities for governments and industries ahead of COP26. Placing the spotlight on Asia's role in the global sustainability agenda, the event will address whether Asian countries and companies can achieve shared sustainability goals, and what is needed to help get them there. The summit will be co-hosted by Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, and Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. We will address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?

Attendance is free and open to the public. Register to attend.

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