A new survey published by German public broadcaster ARD shows Germans trust Russia more than the US. America's brand appears to have suffered considerably since the election of Donald Trump as US president last year.
Germans increasingly see Russia as a more reliable partner than the US, a new study released on Saturday has found.
The poll of 1,004 people by research institute Infratest dimap showed that 28 percent of respondents felt Moscow was a reliable partner, compared to 25 percent for Washington.
The result is the first time the public's trust in the US has fallen below Russia in over a decade. An Infratest survey of public trust in Germany's global partners in June found both countries tying at 21 percent.
France and Britain fared far better in the German public's eyes. More than 90 percent said Paris was a reliable partner, while more than 60 percent said Britain, which has been trying to exit the European Union (EU), was a reliable partner.
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Germany moved top of the rankings after coming in second last year. It ranked in the top five in all but one of the six categories. The study noted that their increase in scores came in part because of improved perceptions among Egyptians, Russians, Chinese and Italians.
France reached second spot for the first time since 2009. They benefited greatly in how others preceived the country's governance — an improvement that could be attributed to the impact of recently-elected President Emmanuel Macron. France also ranks first in culture, second in tourism and fifth in exports.
3: United Kingdom
The UK rebounded from its Brexit-induced drop in overall score last year to hold third place in the rankings. The study concluded that most countries have come to terms with Brexit, which is why the country's governance score improved by two points. The UK is also a top five country in exports, tourism, culture and immigration/investments.
4: Canada (tied)
Canada remains fourth largely because it has the highest ranking in governance, people and immigration/investment. Their overall score did not increase much from last year, but because neighbors the United States plummeted in the rankings, their consistent perception was a positive gain.
4: Japan (tied)
Japan made a big jump up the 2017 in what the study called "a banner year" for the country. Its exports remain its calling card — it is the only category in which Japan is in the top five — but Japan also made major gains in governance, culture and immigration/investment.
6: United States
The United States made the biggest drop of any of the top-five countries in the rankings, falling from first in 2016 all the way down to sixth. The main cause was what the study called "The Trump effect" — the United states dropped from 19th to 23rd in the governance category. However, the US is second in exports and culture and fifth in immigration/investment.
US favorability falling
The new results align with the findings of an August poll by the Pew Research Center that surveyed the public's confidence in different world leaders.
Whereas 25 percent of Germans had confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin, only 11 had confidence in US President Donald Trump.
America's brand, Pew noted in an earlier study, has suffered in Germany since the election of Donald Trump in November 2016.
Nearly 60 percent of Germans had a favorable view of the US when Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, left office. That dropped to 35 percent at the beginning of Trump's presidency.
The decline in Germany has reflected a worldwide trend. "Attitudes have taken a dramatic turn for the worse, especially in Western Europe and Latin America," the surveyors said.
Pew noted that the US's favorability had only dramatically improved in one country: "Only in Russia has the image of the United States improved by a large margin."
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