Over half of French respondents to an online poll indicated that they no longer consider the United States a reliable partner, according to the French think-tank Foundation for Political Innovation, which commissioned the survey jointly with the American Jewish Committee, an advocacy organization, and Le Sursaut, a political forum.
They questioned 1,007 internet users on September 10th and 11th; the data revealed a serious drop in pro-American sentiment over a four-year period. Just 44 percent of respondents said the US remained a “trusted ally” under President Trump, compared with 77-percent approval for his predecessor Barack Obama in a similar poll dated May 2014.
The majority of those polled (roughly 54 percent) said they had a “very bad opinion” of Donald Trump, while as few as 17 percent respondents showed a positive attitude towards the US President.
Supporters of the right-wing National Rally party, formerly known as the National Front, were the only group to express a more positive opinion, with 42 percent backing Trump.
Some 78 percent said the US had a negative impact on France’s economic growth. In the wake of Trump’s decision to scrap the Paris climate agreement, 88 percent see the current White House administration as an adversary rather than an ally in the fight against climate change.
However, there has been a slight improvement since Trump took office in November 2016, when just 38 percent viewed the US as a trusted ally.
Relations between the United States and France, two longstanding trans-Atlantic allies, have been strained in the recent months as Washington has adopted a protectionist trade agenda. This spring, Donald Trump announced tariffs on aluminum and steel imported from the European Union, citing national interests. The move sparked a backlash from European leaders, including French President Macron, who argued for the reversal of the US President’s decision, which he claimed would hurt trans-Atlantic trade. However, Trump followed through on his threat, with tariffs entering into force on June 1 and prompting retaliatory measures from the bloc.