tv Discussion on Americas Global Image CSPAN June 28, 2017 3:08am-4:49am EDT
as many of you are probably already aware if you tpwhransed at this newspaper or checked your social media accounts this morning, pew released its latest edition of the global research study, with this year's survey covering 37 countries and more than 40,000 respondents, all conduct theafed inauguration of president trump, between february 16 and may 8 of this year. and the findings are news worthy, particularly during a week in which the white house is hosting the prime minister of india on thursday, hosting the president of the republic of korea, and a week ahead of president trump's travel to germany for this year's g-2 summit where he will -- which will feature 0 heads of state and government in numerous bilateral meetings, including possibly a meeting between
president trump and president putin. to share the highlights of the survey, we have richard white, director of global attitudes at the pew research center. richard has been the author of numerous pew survey report, you have likely read hisage cease in a variety of newspapers and seen his commentary on television not just in the united states but broad. he previously worked a consulting group. following his 20-minute presentation i'll welcome to the stage a panel from brookings and the council on foreign relations who i'll introduce when we were all seated and swreel a 45-minute discussion of whether and if so how the survey results matter. we'll then turn to a 25-minute q&a with all of you here today. i want to extend a special thanks before we get started to for putting this
together. with that, richard, please take it away. richard: thank you. thanks to the -- thanks to brookings for hosting this, thanks to the panelists for being here and thanks to all of you being here. i'm happy to have a chance to talk about the most recent survey we conducted and in particular happy to have a chance to talk about this topic. we look at lots of different topics in our international survey work at pew. this is the one we've done the most work on consistently over the years. how does the world see the united states? we've been doing that for a decade and a half. as you can imagine we've seen lots of changes over that decade and a half. we certainly have a lot of change this is year. so what i'll do is walk through a few slides that highlight some of the key find frgs this report
that we released last night. before i do that, i'll just tell you a little bit about the pew research center and who we are and what we do. we've been around over two decades now. we're funded largely by the pew charitable trust, also get funding from other foundations. we're nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonadvocacy. we like to call ourselves a fact tank rather than a think tank because we put such an emphasis on data and empirical research. you can see from the topics here that we tend to look at in our our research and i'll put a plug in for the website while i'm here, all our reports are there, things like opeds and blog posts. increasingly we have some cool interactive features, including one associated with this report that you can go in and play around with the data a little bit yourself. if you are a number cruncher, go to our website and download our
data sets as well and use that in your own analysis. briefly on the methodology for this survey, it was conducted in 37 countries around the world. i'll show you a map of those countries in a moment. from february to may. in some countries we do telephone interviews, in most country it's actually a face-to-face interview. you can see the margin of error there which is pretty typical for this kind of survey work. i'll be happy to talk more about the methodology or answer questions about how we go about conducting this type of work around the world during q&a if you're interested. so these are the 37 countries that were included in the survey. each year there's always countries we like to include but weren't able to for one reason or another but in general i think we do a pretty good job of including countries from regions around the world.
so what do we find? let me start off by showing you some data on what i think are the two most fundamental measures in the survey. one is a question we've asked about variety of world leaders for years. ewe asked about president bush when he was president, president obama, and this year about president trump. how much confidence do you have in president trump to do the right thing in world affairs? the other question is a base exquestion we and others have asked, we call it u.s. favorability, very simply, do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the united states? and what we see in this year's survey is that if you look at the confidence measure, there's been a big shift in how the world sees the u.s. president. if you look at these 37 countries and go back to the last couple of years of the obama era, 64% said they had confidence in president obama.
just 23% said they lack confidence in him. this year, same question, about president trump. 74% say they do not have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs. 37 countriesss the say they do have confidence in him. big shift in terms of how the world sees the u.s. president. we also see in this data that change in who is in the white house has had a big impact on how the world sees the united states. so this is a question about whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the u.s. back again the end of the obama era, 64% favorable, 26% unfavorable. as you can see, that favorable line has gone down. the unfavorable line has gone up. a big change in terms of how publics around the world see the
u.s. president and a change in how they rate the united states as a country. let's take a look at some specific countries in terms of this confidence measure. so in just about every country we surveyed, we see a significant gap in terms of ratings for obama during the end of his presidency and ratings for trump this year. i can't fit all of them on the slide so this is just where we see a 50% -- a 50 percentage point gap or greater. so sweden, for example, at the top up here. 93% in our survey there last year said they had confidence in president obama. just 10% say that about president trump. big gaps in other european countries. but also in south korea, canada, australia, often the biggest gaps are in some of america's closest allies.
there are two countries where we see president trump getting higher ratings than president obama. israel and russia. so slightly higher ratings for president trump in israel. significantly higher ratings for president trump in russia. obama's ratings had gone down a good bit after the ukraine crisis and didn't bounce back this year much -- didn't bounce back much. this year, much higher ratings for president trump. let's go back to the bush administration. same questions. data for four western european country we was surveyed just about every year for the last debling cade and a half. president bush starts off his term not especially popular in western europe. those numbers come down over time. he's unpopular or there's a lot of opposition to key elements of his foreign policyle by the time he leaves office in 2008 his
ratings are low. president obama comes into office in 2009 he gets astronomical ratings in some countries, more than 90% positive. for example, in 2009 in germany and france. comes down a little bit o'time. snowden scandal had ratings effect but his bounced back, he left office pretty popular. then you see what happens this year a very steep slope downward. trump's ratings this year in these four western european countries look a lot like what we saw in 2008 for president ush when he left office. same measure, this time comparing president trump with other world leaders. these are all median percentages across the 37 countries that we surveyed. we asked about angela merkel,
she's the only one of the four leaders we tested who gets on balance positive ratings, 4 % say they have confidence in her, 31% say they don't have confidence in her. she and putin both get negative ratings for the most part but not as negative as what we see for president trump. she and putin, it's not positive, but the negative ratings aren't as high as what we've seen globally, at least, for president trump. here's a question on u.s. favorability on a country-by-country basis. as you can see often we see variations among regions across the world. we also see variations within regions quite often. you can see that in europe. poland, hundred fware, italy, u.k. mostly positive for the u.s. elsewhere mostly negative right now, including germany, for example, 62% saying they have an
unfavorable view of the u.s. if you look at asia, again a lot of variation across countries. very high ratings in vietnam, philippines, south korea. australians look down at the bottom of the screen, you can see, essentially divided right now in terms of viewses of the u.s. australia a longtime ally of the united states. in the middle east, consistently high ratings for the u.s. in vir call chally all our surveys and israel, even if views of the u.s. president fluctuated a bit over time. negative ratings in the middle east something we've seen consistently. president obama came into office hoping to turn around america's image in the region, gave a famous speech in cairo in 2000 to kick off those efforts. didn't see a sea change in the obama presidency in terms of views of the u.s., it's certainly very negative in this
year's survey especially in turkey and junior dan. africa is a region where we've typically seen mostly positive views toward the united states. that was true during the bush era when there was a rise in anti-americanism in many regions. he was pretty popular there. his policies were relatively popular there. the u.s. continued to get good ratings there. the same was try, maybe even more so, in the obama era. even though there have been declines in africa, in this survey, the countries we've surveyed at least, continue to see the must a positive light. latin america, again, some differences across the latin american nations that we surveyed. mexico stand out as a place in this year's survey that has very negative ratings for the u.s., at least vis-a-vis what people used to see in our mexico surveys. you see that a little bit on this map here. this is a map that illustrates the change in u.s. favorability
since the last time we surveyed in all these countries. red countries are where there's been a negative change, dark gray is where there's been essentially no change and then blue are places where america's image has improved on the favorability measure. there are only two blue couldn't throins map, one is vietnam. wouldn't make too much of that. i believe the change in vietnam was from 78% favorable to 84%. it went from already very high to slightly higher. of course the big change is in russia, i believe the number there is, last time we surveyed in 2015 was 15% favorable and then 41% this year. so again, different places in this survey, russia is an outlier. lots of dark red in europe. lots of dark red in latin america. the darkest red in mention ke, that's the country where we see the biggest decline in u.s.
favorability, gone from 66% favorable in 2015 to 30% this year. we want to understand better how the world sees president trump, so we asked about some of his policies, some of his character traits. when it comes to policy we tested five. his proposal to withdraw from the iranian nuclear deal, restricting people from certain majority muslim countries from entering the united states, withdrawing from climate and trade agreements, and building the wall on the border with mexico. so these again are global medians across all the countries we surveyed. as you can see, these poll vis all broadly unpopular. across the countries that we surveyed. iranian nuclear deal a little less so even there on balance, global public tell us theyties approve of this proposal. there are pockets of support for
some of these. i believe the iranian -- pulling out of the iranian knew leer deal was popular in israel and jordan. there are certain places where some of these policies are embraced but on the whole we see pretty widespread global opposition to the policy proposals that we tested on the survey. now we also asked about certain characteristics, both positive and negative and whether people associate those with president trump. we read them this list, some positive, some negative and as you can see the negative characteristics people tend to say yes, i would describe president trump in that way. in particular, arrogant, majorities around the world also say they think trump is intolerant an even dangerous. relatively low numbers say he cares about ordinary people. that he's well qualified to be president. about four in 10 say they think of him as charismatic. a bright spot in terms of views
about trump around the world is the question of being a strong leader you do see majorities around the world saying they do associate the term strong leader with him, that includes some places where other ratings for trump are pretty negative. say, france, for example. i think 54% there say that they think of trump as a strong leader. while just 14% say they have confidence in trump to do the right thing in world affairs. that's a characteristic that stands out as being positive even in some places where overall attitudes toward trump are very negative. something we've done in the past in our surveys and did again this year is look at attitudes toward different aspects of, you know what we might think of as american soft power. so again, global medians on some question, we think sort of tap into the notion of soft power. the american people continue to score pretty well on sour
survey. 58% across the countries we surveyed say they think of the american people in a positive light. people tend to say they like american popular culture. 65% say, i like american movies and music and television. the u.s. gets pretty good ratings in terms of respecting the individual liberty of its citizens. that's a question we've seen some downward trends on over the last few years in the wake of the n.s.a. story, but on balance people still tend to think the u.s. government does respect personal freedoms. more mixed views when it comes to american ideas about democracy. then you see the negative ratings on the question about if it's a good thing or bad thing that american customs and ideas are spreading to our country. this overall pattern is pretty typical of what we've seen on these questions. the numbers have come down a bit in some country bus the overall
pattern has been consistently true. if you look, for example, at the american customs and ideas question in the popular -- and the popular culture question, it's an interesting contrast. people want their jay-z and taylor swift and their superhero movies but they're also worried about american culture kind of pushing out their own local culture and traditions. it's representative of the kind of push and pull that people feel about the united states in lots of ways. then a final topic we wanted to look at was what people think about the future of relations with the u.s. we asked people now that trump is president, do you think that relations between your country and the u.s. are going to get better, get worse, or stay about the same? outside of africa, you don't see a lot of people saying things are going to get better. you see pretty significant numbers in many countries saying things are going to get worse.
but as you slide across regions, the prevailing view in many places is that things are going to stay about the same. which i think is an interesting finding given all the negativity we see toward president trump and toward his policies. that nonetheless, people don't necessarily think there's going to be some sort of radical sea change in terms of their country's relationship with the united states. and you know, i think that finding illustrates a broader point that we see in these findings. and that is that, you know, even with this pretty negative picture of how the world currently sees the u.s., there are some bright spots. i think this is something that we've seen over the last decade and a half in our research. that you know even if there's a pretty unpopular american president, u.s. foreign policies are pretty unpopular, there's still some strong suits in america's global image and some
tarun: thank you very much to you, richard, for the initial presentation. i'll briefly introduce the panel and then we'll get started. richard's left you have shadi, the senior fellow on u.s. relations with the islamic world here at brookings. he's the author of "islam exceptionalism" and just out yesterday is a new piece on turkey's president erdowan, published in "the atlantic" for a contributing editor. to his left, you have constanze,
she's the author of numerous publications on german, european and transatlantic foreign security policy. most recently a work on the work of german chancellor helmut kohl. tomorrow she'll be testifying in front of the senate intelligence committee on russian nterference in u.s. elections. she's been a journalist, she holds a doctorate of law and just prior to joining brookings was a senior transatlantic fellow. ratner, t is ely senior fellow of china studies where he writes on u.s.-china relations and u.s. national security policy. he published most recently in the current issue of foreign affairs, a terrific piece of
china's maritime advance. and he was a colleague in the obama administration from 2015 to 2017 as deputy national security advisor to vice president biden in which capacity he focused in particular on agency of security affairs and worked at the state department and senate foreign relations committee. to get started i thought we'd look at the question of how do the results matter to the parts of the world you study. i noticed in particular if you look at the top 10 countries where the drop was most precipitous, nine of the 10 countries are u.s. treaty allies. we talk a lot about the advantage of the united states and the world drawing from a coalition of allies and partnerships around the world. i do think we should step back for a moment and i.d. like to ask each of you -- i'd like to ask each of you in the regions on which you focus, what do
these results matter for u.s. nterests and regional order? >> i focus on a region where favorability ratings have been low for a long time and you see slight increases under obama when he is elected after the cairo speech but after that, the expectations weren't met, we see a drop and in some cases in several countries favorability toward the u.s. was lower under obama than it was in bush's final year. shadi: which is an important point to emphasize because it's hard to process, how could that be? but even in the case of, say, jordan, it's only a 1% increase but u.s. favorability went up 15% under 2015 to trump. so you know, pretty much the same. but it shows that at least in
places where there's strong anti-american sentiment that's been there for a long time, do people really care that much if trump was elected? they might not like him but for them, their lifelong experience with u.s. policy is a very negative one and they're very skeptical that anyone can really change that. i think the obama years really underscored that point because again, i mean, the cairo speech was quite well received but then people didn't actually see significant changes in policy. also if you look at turkey, it was in one of the years under bush, there was 12% approval of the u.s. it dropped down under obama to 10% in 2011. and jumps up and now it's at 18%. so depending on what years you look at, again, under trump, in 2017, is higher than some of the
years obama's tenure. so it's porn to keep in mind that the middle east is sort of an outlier if you look at the rest of the results. but i think it sort of gets to a question that applies to a lot of the results in this survey is how much does any of this really mat her what does it mean to say that favorability ratings drop tremendously or increase tremendously under a certain president? does it actually matter as much as we might think it does? and clearly when you have a new president it can shoot up 60% or go down 60% as we've seen from the bush-obama transition, but transition.ma-trump the world doesn't end with these changes, in a sense. the last thing i'd say is, you know, i think that you could also argue that even though -- i would argue, to be clear, that
even if favorability rate wrgs quite high under obama in a place like europe, constanze will talk about this a little more, there's a legitimate debate to be had about whether obama's policies were better for europe. how do we judge that? you could say the refugee crisis in syria, because of obama's inaction there, in part, led to syria's problems in europe. so there's different ways to look at this. but i think what we're seeing now is a kind of natural experiment over the next four, possibly eight years, where it's as if you're introducing the most offensive, problematic president to the world and then we can now see in realtime how much that affects our relationships with other countries. does it lead to things that are very, very bad? i think that's the presumption that at least a lot of people on the left have that after four to eight years of donald trump, terrible things will be the
result and we might never recover from it. i'm skeptical of thisnary ty but we will actually find out. four years from new, we can all sit down here, or in eight years, we'll see, and be able to say, hey, what is the relationship between people hating our president and the world falling apart? [laughter] constanze: i'm here as the sort of proxy for germany and europe. as tarun said, i ran a survey myself for a couple of years which in general -- and i have tremendous respect for pew, i have tremendous budget envy. even retroactive budget envy and capability envy. i tend to think surveys sort of with a kilo of salt simply because i'm a policy wonk.
i tend to think nothing really substitutes for examining actual policy. so let me try and say how i think this looks from europe. of course we have, unlike most middle eastern countries with some exceptions, been america's ally since 1949. the germans since 1956. issues over some time, in the cold war, but also with bush, and obama, with the n.s.a. spying allegations which idn't do the relationship much good. and there was obama's actions or inaction with regard to the middle east, there's a feeling that may have had impact on the refugee, the record refugee inflow we experienced in 2015 and 2016. but that said, it's also a
resilient relationship, one where policymakers know that even when there's huge turbulence at the official level, policymakers to end actually move closer together and to try to prevent the worst and try to make sure that there is no bleeding, as it were, from areas ofties agreement into areas where we have to cooperate. 's been a pretty resilient relationship overall. but i will also say that this is kind of special. this particular administration holds challenges for europe of the kind that we haven't encountered before. and we have simply not encountered an american president who has refused in public to reiterate the commitment to the mutual defense clause in article 5 of they have nato treaty. i think that really shocked most
people, not just policymakers, not just european leaders, but the european public. of course it feeds into whatever anti-american, anti-western attitudes that there are. and we can talk at length about these attitudes, we can say they're often a reflection of our own fears of ourselves, our feefers globalization, our fears of a complicated future, loss of control. but the fact is, those are sometimes articulated in the orm of othering. and so this is not helping. do i think i can predict what's going to happen in four years to the relationship? no. i haven't been able to predict anything that's happened in the ast 18 months, so why should i predict that. tarun: i do want to ask you before we move on, i was struck by the fact that respondents in seven nato allies, including
germany, by a ratio of 2-1, indicated more confidence in president putin than president trump. what are we to make of that with respect to europe and other relations? constanze: i think of that less as vote of confidence in putin, if you look at other european opinion polls, which i do a lot, you'll see that distrust for america -- sorry, for russia, has increased significantly in the last three or four years, particularly with the annexation of crimea, and continued meddling not just in crew yain, fomenting conflict in ukraine by russia but also interfering in the european public space. that -- that's the context you have to keep in mind. and i see very few other european polls, except for those
unpick trying to sort of people's authoritarian leanings which does exist that suggests that putin is in any way well received in europe by a majority. so i think that this is a reflection of people's unhappyness with trump. in the same way i would urge you to take the findings about angela merkel with a grain of salt, or more than that. i think we're safe in accuming that she'd do the same herself. tarun: we'll come back to angela merkel. ely, as richard indicated, the survey on arab is a bit of a bright spot, not as much as after character i wish we had room for more chairs on the stage so we could talk about africa and latin america but 76% -- i think somewhere -- in vietnam, philippines, republic of korea, the favorable view of
the united states exceeds 75%. as you think about the results, one question i'd ask you to consider as well is, is the administration poised to take advantage of some of that positive sentiment toward the united states? ely: sure, i'll get to that. to what's been said before, is it -- do these views matter they do obama's high riverability rating didn't always translate into policy successes on things, north korea's nuclear program was develop, china's maritime assertiveness was continuing. etc., etc. so we shouldn't assume that, again, that there's a one-on-one relationship between popularity and policy success but i think it does matter in asia, perhaps, more than anywhere else for the following reason which is that the united states is in an emergent geopolitical competition with china and that is starting in the first instance over a competition over
the future of the regional order in asia. while these countries, even allied countries, are not going to make some fundamental buynary choice choice between the united states and china, every day they are making choices as to how they approach trade issues, how they'll approach human rights issues, how they approach security issues. in every single country in asia publics in every country, including south korea, australia and everywhere, having fierce debates about how they balance competing interests as it relates to china. often the economic benefits of their relationship with china. with their historical cultural security and economic relationships with the united states. to the extent that these types of public opinion views are shifting and changing the public discourse in these countries, it is important. because it will affect the degree to which leaders are willing to stick their next out and work with the united states or willing to push back in china. i think in asia's case it does
matter. i think the survey had potentially even more good news than bad news as it represents to the region. for some of the reason you suggested. i think asia is a historical beneficiary of american leadership. certainly less complicated than the middle east. some of our you a lies in northeast asia and elsewhere have been less affected by what's happened in the middle east. i think some of president trump's more liberal social policies resonate less in northeast asia than they do certainly in europe and in other progressive -- australia -- other countries like that. there does seem to be a well spring of goodwill there. very high favorability ratings. the highest of any region of confidence or approval in american democracy, american values. so i think to the extent that part of the theory of the obama administration's pivot to asia or rebalancing attention resources to asia was seeing asia as the future or a future for the united states to
continue its now 70-year-plus project of trying to expand a liberal order in the world. i think the promise and the importance of doing that in asia is perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. i think what we see in this data is that there's still opportunity there to work on some of that. i think the other -- at least from a perspective of the nature of the u.s.-china competition, i think the very negative views of ping were quite striking. there were a lot of chinese diplomats around the world today that were homing this survey doesn't make its way back to beijing. because they're spending billions and billions and billions of dollars trying to improve through state-run propaganda, global views of ping. i think this survey tell you that it's not working. whereas, yes, donald trump may be not particularly favorable, the fact that the alternative of ping is not rating very high i think matters in terms of how we think about opportunities for the united states. that i think is the good news. the bad news, of course, is what
lurks behind these figures. the questions here were about various policy issues and there is diversity in the region. what's worrying to south koreans is not what's worrying the indonesians, is not necessarily what's worrying the australians. on balance some of the things the trump administration has done, withdrawing from the trans-pacific partnership, raising concerns about the alliance commitments, and just more generally, not putting forward a view of american leadership in the world, does have the region worried. i think, again, what i read from this data is that if the united states -- to get to your initial question of is the trump administration poised to seize upon this, i think if they do want to lead in asia, the opportunity is still there. that the public support and the politics do still support it. but i think what we see in the data is real concern that the united states isn't stepping up and in the absence of american leadership, even if they don't want to live in a china-led
world, they'll have no choice but to do so. tarun: i want to come back to richard in a moment about the kind of resilience in the data that he mentioned. while we're on leaders, you entioned president xi. constanze: you're not going to let go of this, are you? tarun: no. angela merkel's readings are those of -- are double those of president trump president trump. 50% higher of those than president xi and putin. you're going to have many people saying xi is the new leader of and maybe even the less than free world. so -- but what does that mean for someone like her, a chancellor who, as you have written, depends on and takes advantage of ambiguity, and who, quote, inhabits a leadership culture that's am bive lent about public diplomacy? constanze: thus are you punished for your words. just by way of reminder, president obama had approval ratings in germany that were
basically 250%, you know, going upwards. i was at the speech that he gave in britain's version of central park. the summer of 2008. with 200,000 people who had come could to see him. when he was still just a candidate. i think he's still -- he still pretty much has rockstar status in my country. that's a benchmark that no german politician is going to achieve that easily, right? the other thing is, of course, that merkel is an odd candidate for the title of a beacon of the free world because she herself has, i think, despite fact that i think she's rather like obama and she has become friends with him, the one thing that i think she always appeared very skeptical about was his silver
tongue. the ability to sort of spout forward endlessly in terms reminiscent of somebody standing at a pastoral pulpit rather than in a political role. she's a very dissident public speaker. both by her ability, but also by inclination. i empathize with that to some degree because germans of our age, she's 10 years older than i am, tend to be suspicious of this kind of public pathos. for all the obvious reasons. it's something that we are careful about. it's been abused too many times. both in west and east germany and historical predecessors. the other thing, of course, is that germany has in recent years become, somewhat by default, somewhat through circumstances not created by itself, the
default leader of europe. in other words, this is not just a title given to us by other people. it's a political fact. that german politicians and policymakers have actually spent a great deal of time trying to live up to recently. some of you will remember the three famous speeches in munich where the president, foreign minister and defense minister said, we have, basically enunciated a spiderman doctrine. we have great power, therefore we must exercise greater responsibility. there's a great deal happening in response to the refugee crisis, the eurozone crisis. the crisis with russia over ukraine. and its meddling in europe. that is making germans develop additional institutional and political muscle. to deal with all of this. but there's also an understanding that in europe, you know, you can't do this on your own. it can only be europe as europe. so we need our neighbors, our friends, our you a lies -- our allies to pick up some of this as well. europe is not the kind of political project that one large
state can lead. that's not how it works. germans and german politicians are deeply aware of that. those kinds of stickers are not particularly helpful. tarun: i'd like to talk a little bit about the point of resilience that richard made. richard, you noted that there's a large delta, i think it's about 35 points, between the meeting percentage of respondents that had no confidence in donald trump and the median unfavorable view of the united states. it was 74% to 39%. is that delta sustainable based on previous survey data? is that something you expect to converge over time? what's your sense? richard: obviously how the world feels about the u.s. president and u.s. foreign policies does have a big impact on how the world sees the u.s. we know from our surveys that it's complicated too. there are lots of things that influence how people see
america. and i think there's signs in this data and signs in other surveys we've conducted over time that do kind of highlight this resiliency in terms of america's image. despite all the negativity toward trump, as i mentioned, you don't see huge majorities saying they expect relations necessarily get worse with the u.s. these questions we ask about soft power, american culture, the american people, etc., we see in this survey and we've seen pretty consistently over time that people tend to still like a lot of things about the u.s. even when they're not very happy with the u.s. administration. and in some ways the obama era, i think, demonstrated this resiliency. you had anti-americanism in many parts of the world during the bush era. you've had anti-americanism of a different variety for a very long time. long before george w. bush. yet it's bounced back at different times as well. we saw a lot of the numbers that had turned very negative bounce back during our surveys in the
obama presidency. so we've seen some precedence for resiliency and i think there's signs of it even in the survey this year, despite all the negativity that we see at the same time. tarun: staying on that subject. for each of you, how are we to read the survey results that indicate the public's on balance are not necessarily convinced that bilateral relations with the united nations are going to change? do we read that in the sense they don't think the relationship should change, despite their disregard for president trump, or do we read it in the sense maybe they don't think the ground will shift because they have faith in u.s. institutions or perhaps their own? >> i think one thing here is we have an unusual situation where the u.s. doesn't have a unitary foreign policy. of course it's never entirely unitary. there's always divisions within the bureaucracy and among different institutions. shadi: but i think particularly under trump, there are about four simultaneous u.s. foreign
policies. so even if you don't like trump, if you follow things closely enough, you might like the other three foreign policies. so nikki haley has her own foreign policy. secretary mattis has his own foreign policy. macmaster has a different one. the list goes on. so i think we have to ask ourselves the question, who speaks for the u.s.? to the extent that you have just in the past couple of weeks tillerson and trump saying almost die metrically opposed things on one of the most potentially destructive crises e've seen in recent months and perhaps recent years. the g.c.c. crisis. so i prefer tillerson's foreign policy over trump's in this regard. i think that makes it a little bit more challenging, that this is such an unusual precedent at such an unusual time. that it's very hard to compare it with what's come before. so that's, i think, one thing.
-- i think there's also people don't necessarily -- there's a status quo bias. you think, things are more likely to stay the same and i think if i was responding to these kinds of polls i would say, hey, i personally don't like trump at all. but is it going to change the bilateral relationship with x, y or z country? i think i can see why a lot of people would say, probably not so much. tarun: sounds like there's some optimism bias in that from that perspective? constanze: i take more hope from the fact that survey respondents apparently think or make a distinction between the president himself and the country. that was also the case in translating trends when i ran it. people made a distinction
between president bush and america. i think that's good. that shows a certain degree of aturity. i think also for europe, we come from a different place than many of the people who live in the middle east. relationships have survived a great deal already, as i said. there is a sense that we are so deeply politically and economically integrated with each other that it's actually, despite a leader's best efforts, quite difficult to completely rip apart this fabric. so there is an assumption that the machine to some degree is going to chug on by itself, regardless of what the gentlemen on the deck are attempting to do. over time that could obviously change. if the gentleman is on the deck a long time. but for now there's a feeling, this is just -- this relationship is just so much bigger than one single government. that we will weather this too. this too shall pass.
>> i'll just say i think that's right. though interestingly the countries with some of the largest figures of concerns that there would be negative effects, japan, south korea, and australia. i think more than 40% of respondents saying they would expect the relationship to be more negative. i'll get to that in a minute. but i would agree. ely: a lot of these relationships are much deeper, operate on many different levels. we saw a real case of that when early on in the administration, president trump had a phone call with the australian prime minister that didn't go that well. it was reported out it was a bad call. it was ended much more quickly than it was supposed to be. and there was lots of press about, has trump broken the u.s.-australia alliance. the response was a groundswell of support from civil society, congress, rubio put out statements, mccain. i think there was even a sense of the senate on this. it activated the alliance managers and it was a demonstration of how many people there are who think this relationship's really important
and are going to fight and work for it and ultimately won't allow donald trump to do something like that. because of the long historical relationship. what i would say is i think this question about the bilateral relationship is to potentially important. to get back to my regular comment. i think in asia in particular, you have a situation where you have a resurgent china in the context of concerns about -- at least an uncommitted united states and the concern i have personally, but i think the concern that people have in the region, is are there things that are going to happen over the next couple of years that will put the region on a path dependence of a much less democratic future or certain trade or political institutions that become predominant or a security order that's redefined through chinese revisionism that means even when president x is elected in 2020, and he or she goes out and says america'sabad back, here we are, that the region has been transformed in a fundamental way across some
pretty important issues that the nature of the bilateral relationship isn't as important as the changes that have happened to the regional order. so i think i would suspect, if you start looking at, if you went into the people that are really concerned about these issues and follow them closely, in some of these regions, what's lurking behind is concerns about america's traditional leadership role. forfeiting economic leadership on things like the trans-pacific partnership and then concerns about alliance commitments and these things come together potentially in a very negative way. >> one little point. i think we have to also remember that people's attitudes toward the u.s., especially in my region, are very complex and there's almost like this love-hate aspect to it. i don't know how similar that is in certain parts of europe. but to even ask a sort of binary question, how do you feel about the u.s., good or bad, i mean, i can imagine someone like writing a long essay on that in egypt
and jordan tanned would be a very complex position. shadi: just because the history -- there's so much there to sort of unpack. one kind of amusing result that i was reminded of, looking at the numbers. in 2005 in jordan, confidence in george w. bush was 1% in jordan. i was actually living in jordan in 2005. and i think i knew the 1%. [laughter] these are people who would never -- but they would never say that to a pollster. but there was this sense that george w. bush is supporting the first arab spring, which was happening in 2004, 2005. more people were protesting. there was a sense of optimism at least among elites. but these were also people who historically were very suspicious of the u.s. so they were like, wait, is george w. bush improving this? but then again we know the
history. and again, so there's almost like internal struggle as people try make sense of what they feel about the u.s. tarun: i wanted to raise yesterday's supreme court decision to hear arguments regarding the immigration ban. this was covered in the survey. disapproval of the administration's immigration restrictions was quite pronounced, unsurprisingly. 77% opposed in turkey. 73% in indonesia. 96% for jordan from your perspective, what would be the impact of the decision to allow portions of the -- of the ban to stand? pending a full hearing later this year? shadi: i think the understandable that people would be against a ban like that, which targets muslims. although it is worth noting, and here there's an interesting public leadership divide. many arab governments supported trump's ban on the muslim ban or whatever. even countries that claim to speak for muslims like saudi arabia.
for a rarity of complex reasons, which we don't have to get into right now. but i think that part of it is interesting. that even though you have very strong public disapproval of trump's muslim ban, that doesn't necessarily filter up to the government. that's because most of these countries are not democracies. when we're looking at the results at large, this question of how much governments are responsive to their own people is pretty critical because if you have strong levels of public anti-americanism, naturally if you're running in a campaign, you're going to have to feed off of that anti-american sentiment. so i think one thing we'll see in the next four years, if politicians in say, europe or asia, assuming they're democracies, see that their people are pissed off at trump, they might say, we're going to run on this and really try to use that to our advantage. constanze: the already become visible in germany's election
campaign. we have a federal election on september 24. that's less than 100 days out. this past weekend merkel's challenger went onto a full-throated campaign mode which essentially said, forget 2%, we're never going to do that. that would mean arming germany to the teeth. in other words, playing on all of the anti-american pacifist, anti-nato things you can think of. i have to say, i'm very disappointed by this. i thought that he was going to be more responsible than that. but he's also 14 points behind merkel in the polls. so clearly he feels that he has to do this. there you go. these are memes or narratives that people can pull up and no doubt that will have -- that will have an impact. on the other hand, i'm also seeing some of my social democrat friends on facebook agonizing over this and saying o
my god this will -- now we really are going to hell in a hand basket. this is not going to get us elected and it shouldn't. >> it's an interesting question to the extent that it seems to be the case that trump wasn't traveling to london because there were concerns about protests there. and as compared to asia, again, president trump scheduled to go out to the philippines and vietnam for major multilateral meetings later this year. ely: he accepted an invitation from prime minister modi to go to india. he'll likely go to japan and south korea at some point as well. i don't they -- don't think he would face public opposition in those kind of places. it will be interesting to see how it changes his world view and how to support or resistance will affect him. he'll be very welcomed in places like vietnam and the philippines. he'll have a very different experience than some of these other countries. i think it will matter. constanze: in some ways insulting your friends is worth something. tarun: i want to ask you,
richard, so within the political science now or international relations even, there's more study of the role that leaders play in international politics. wonder, has i pujols considered doing survey -- pew considered doing survey in parallel of elites? richard: we have done some of that. it's not always easy to survey elites. they won't respond to wonder, h surveys quite often when you try to get them to answer your questions. constanze: so snooty. richard: yes. but we have done some of that. we did a little project for the something recently where we surveyed folks who attended a conference. you do see gams sometimes. issues like globalization, for example, trade. these kind of issues can be seen very differently by elites and by average citizens across the globe. that survey where we did survey
transatlantic elites had common findings in terms of transatlantic transatlantic reeat -- elites were concerned about the trump administration, concerned about the transatlantic relations. on that front we're seeing correspondence between elites and average citizens. taupe ely, because president moob will be -- tarun: ely, because president moon will be here on thursday, despite the relatively kind of positive, high approval rating of the united states in south korea, it was striking that 76% of south koreans consider president trump dangerous. this is also a country where we have nearly 30,000 u.s. troops. so what does this mean for president moon when he walks into the oval office on thursday? ely: that's striking. that's a good demonstration of the diversity between what interests are. what's driving that result is clearly the concern that president trump will be overly
aggressive toward north korea in one way or another and could start a conflict there. so i read that as reflecting that. president moon has come in to office in a much more conciliatory position toward north korea than his predecessor, who was about as hard as you're going to get and about as willing to go along with the type of global pressure campaign that the united states was trying to conduct. so i think this is a good example of the type of tight rope walks that leaders have to do now when they come to meet with president trump. because they at once have to serve their domestic publics and not be seen as being overly differential, but at the same time don't want to signal to trump that somehow south korea isn't up for this alliance anymore. you could imagine if trump got the signal that south korea was no longer willing to cooperate with the united states on tackling the north korea issue, given his history of questions about alliance and what not, the first question he would ask himself is, why do we have tens troops there?
why are americans willing to die for their country if they're not willing to work with us and try to deal with the mounting threat of a north korea that could soon test an icbm that could hit the continental united states? i do think, again, this is potential volatility that the domestic politics bring into this. it's also something that, because of the -- it's a good example of a relationship that is very deep. there have been moon officials in washington coming through over the last couple of weeks. meeting with people on the outside as well as obviously doing a number of meetings inside to try to find a way to thread the needle through this. modi had a good visit. when justin trudeau came to washington, he had a very good visit. although you couldn't have two more different types of leaders. it is doable but it requires careful diplomacy on both sides. tarun: how do you interpret modi's sort of tackling and bear hug of donald trump yesterday? it's amazing little -- clip.
he was going to shake hands but modi jumps on him and gives him -- a pretty intense hug. shadi: that was interesting. was he trying to signal something? ely: i don't know what was in modi's head. he loves twitter. so maybe it was for social media. i don't know. [laughter] it was a good example again where in some ways there's some sharp differences between the united states and india, but they were able to come and say, we have common ground here. we want to work together. i think both probably some of the folks in the white house, but particularly people in the international community are learning over time how best to do these kinds of visits and how to engage with president trump, how to stay away from things that could go sideways. tarun: one more question on the u.s.-china relations before we go to questions from the audience. there was news this morning the administration is now poised to take a tougher line on china. if that is right, do you think the risk of u.s.-china
confrontation is going to be seen with trepidation among these countries? will a stronger u.s. stance be welcomed? ely: it depends entirely on whether they do it well or not. a tough on china policy that is a confident america, that's leading institutions, that's leading on economics, that's committing to its alliances, that's an important voice for freedom and democracy in the world, that takes on china like that will have the support of the region. but a tough on china policy that's purely american first, that's protectionist, that abandons regional institutions and that takes unnecessary risk on military matters will lose the region entirely. it's really a question of how well they do it. tarun: richard has survey results coming out later this year on the u.s.-china relationship. richard: we'll have a survey that's global views toward china and views about the balance of power between the u.s. and china. both in asia and around the world. in the last few years we've framed a lot of our research on
the u.s., not only in terms of how they see the u.s., but the u.s. vis-a-vis china. that's something we'll have more coming up on soon. tarun: let's open it up. in the back. questioner: thank you very much. i'm from the united states of africa -- [inaudible] -- i usually like to ask the last question. this is very important. the opening sin app sis that the gentleman did, he asked this. how the world sees the u.s. ow the world sees trump. we ask people, can you clarify when you say how the world? visaou referring to yoursy results from the -- your survey results from the political class of the country? and why would you say the world when those leaders are not the largest representative of the world? also, you need to understand
this. trump is undermining, saab staging the geological foundation -- sabotaging the geelogical foundation of what leaders have experienced or followed over the last 70 years. so you have to look at it in those context. not doing unnecessary -- tarun: let's take one more as well and we'll answer those together. also in the back. far left. questioner: thank you all very much. i'm going to ask a question out of right field, leeland, which ever field you care to call it. what's the role of public diplomacy today you? sn how does pew research look at it? i.r.i., ndi -- n.d.i., universities bringing a million students a year into the u.s.? your comments please. >> in terms of who are these people that we're talking to in these surveys, it's not just
elites or leaders in these countries. richard: essentially it's a nationally representative sample of these populations. in terms of demographic profile of the people in our sample, it looks like the demographic profile of the country's population. there are some countries where for one reason or another there may be relatively small parts of the country we can't get to for logistical or security reasons. but for the most part, these are nationally representative samples. it looks like what the citizenry looks like. in terms of a public diplomacy, we don't get into policy recommendations, the pew research center. so we don't make recommendations about what the u.s. or other countries ought to do in terms of public diplomacy. maybe the panel has thoughts about that. we certainly see there's an appetite for this type of information in the public diplomacy community. i think they're very interested in the types of data we collect on views of the united states, including things like soft power, ette. that they look to in order to kind of leverage in their
programming. >> i think the question of public diplomacy is hugely important in the u.s.-china relationship and competition. the united states has not been thinking about an ideological or contest for several decades now. ely: now we're facing one. where you have very active propaganda machine out of china in your newspapers and what not. and what's interesting is that that is having some effect. because i'll be interested to see the survey results on the u.s.-china relationship. when publics are surveyed, they consistently overestimate their country's, for instance, economic dependence on china, or china's relative power. many countries will say china's the most important economy or the most important country in the world. there's very interesting survey out of australia national university where they asked people how economically -- who do you think is the largest investor in your country? constant overestimation of chinese influence.
then the direct result of chinese propaganda and the united states has not engaged in that space at all. one of the tough policy questions for the united states is going to have to be much bigger than what we've done in the past, in voice of america and these little efforts. the united states and u.s. policymakers have to think -- potentially more difficult in a trump context rather than a more traditional u.s. foreign policy context. the question of how does the united states engage again in an ideological competition is something that's coming back fast and furious to washington. tarun: from your perspective focused more on china's relative influence? ely: about the u.s. influence as well. if you went to southeast asia and you have someone on the street, who do you think is the largest invester in your country, the answer i would imagine, a lot of them would say china. when it's only 8%. and the japanese are three or four fold. that and same in australia. the united states is the largest foreign investor. i don't think australians would think that. not only providing them more
information about the realities of china's economic footprint, but also expressing the role of the united states and we haven't done a great job of that. in part because the u.s. government doesn't take credit for the u.s. economy in the way that some other governments do. but i think we should. i think we'll have to be a lot more vocal and affirmative about what we are providing these countries. questioner: thank you very much. good news for donald trump and his voters. he's put america first. and people see him as a leader. so in the next two to three years, shouldn't we expect to see more bullying of our supposed allies, more not shaking hand with people, to make sure that his voters understand that he's a strong
leader, not manipulated by these elites along the fringes? and more power to the band and etting money out of germany. >> those are the two results that stood out to me as positive for trump. he was reading your report, which i'm not sure -- he probably won't, but if he did -- [laughter] he might read like the top page summary or whatever. shadi: but if he read it, there's two positive things there. the fact that 55% see him as a strong leader, despite not liking him otherwise. that seems positive. but also 39% think he's charismatic. those are two interesting results. i don't think trump -- my sense is there's a kind of school of thought that says, hey, we don't care what the publics in other countries think about us.
we want to get results and i ivenk trump's per spectacular is that, taking a hard line and bullying, if you will, can produce better behavior on the part of allies, but also on the part of adversaries. i think one example of this is you might actually -- hype thetically, what if after four years european nations, more of them, actually decided to meet the 2% g.d.p. expectation for nato contributions? that's more plauseable in a sense now than it would have been a few years ago. in a kind of counterintuitive way. because people are afraid that the u.s. is doing its own thing and won't be there to support them. that they have to take responsibility for their own defense more. hypothetically that could be one scenario. so that would be -- i mean, so that's a different way of looking, i think, at foreign policy. who cares if people like us, if
we're feared? i think there's also the anti-obama aspect of this as well. there's a very strong perception that obama was a bit of a softy. that undermined the credibility of our commitments throughout the world. that's actually -- i will confess, an arguement that i've made in the past. in terms of credibility when it comes to things like the red line or syria. so i think it gets at bigger debates about what leads to an effective u.s. foreign policy. tarun: perhaps it's already happened on twitter. but there's a way in which the president and the white house could wear this as a badge of honor. does that in a sense potentially free him up to do more business in europe? constanze: at this point, a lot of people in europe will tell you, we have been increasing our defense budgets because of russian aggression. in fact germany's increasing its defense budget by 8% this year.
the 2% target that we promised nato is a voluntary target. but it's in our interests. we promise to achieve it by 20246789 and the chancellor has several times -- 2024. and the chancellor has several times said we're going to do this and go on doing this until the we reach the 2% in 2024. to some degree there's a sense in berlin, well, ok, if he want to take credit for that, fine. if that gets this off our plate, great. because we're going to do this anyway. the economic stuff is a little more difficult. because that's where you are getting into the realm of, you know, you can have your opinion man but not the facts, not your own facts. yes, germany has a current account surplus and that is by the way a very large trade account surplus. and whether we need to have that and what we can do against it is a matter of great debate in europe. and in germany.
but the trump administration also seems to believe that we can tell the european central bank what to do. and how to set the value of the euro. that is unfortunately untrue. germany wishes it were. but the reality is that the german position has lost out. we were against quantitative easing that the european central bank's president then instituted at the request of the obama administration. so i think at this point what the europeans and certainly what the german are doing is a combination of hugging and hedging. we're willing to give the president credit for whatever, but there are points where that's just not possible. where we cannot go against the facts. or where we also cannot go against our own national interest. tarun: when you speak to this, where in asia should we be worried when we begin to see -- what kind of hedging should we be most worried about? ely: i think -- the first thing i want to say about this is i think the interesting piece about this is that the not as if the democratic party is a
complete inverse of donald trump on every issue. yes, some of the issues on the board about the wall with mexico and refugees and what not and immigrants, the democratic party is in a very different place. on an issue like trade, it's not clear they are. you'll see chuck schumer having written an op-ed in the "the washington post" accusing trump of not being tough enough on trade enforcement or even considering certain protectionist measures. there are big debates to be had in terms of how the politics of this shake out. there may be where the democratic party lands on some of these issues may not be your traditional liberal internationalist sort of centrist foreign policy. we can end up with a set of arguments from 2020 from the left about trade protectionism and maybe not such a robust security policy. that's not what i would support. on either way, personally. but i think we could end up there. so the politics are moreably kate -- complicated. in terms of the issues over this
-- over which this will be expressed. one will be -- i think there's an opportunity in asia, as in europe, for allies to step up and do more. because the choice is not, well, if the united states is shrinking away, does that mean we have to accommodate china? there's also a choice of working more together and trying to network more with democratic allies. we're starting to see some of that. i think there is an opportunity here for countries like australia, to work more with japan and india and singapore and others. and whether they move forward with initiatives like the trans-pacific partnership 11, why would be t.p.p. in the absence of the -- which would be t.p.p. in the absence of the united states, would be an important sign of whether they're going to try to do some of this themselves or not. questioner: from voice of america. the report focuses on the idea that the u.s. could back off from the iran nuclear deal signed in 2015. it looks like many in the middle
east, in muslim majority countries, support this idea. ding more with israel than europe. so for mr. hamid, why do you think it's so in the middle east? and if i may, why are the europeans opposed to withdrawing from the deal? thank you very much. shadi: i think that if you're talking about sunni majority countries, obviously there's a kind of sectarian element in seeing iran as a shi'a regional hedge monday. o that's certainly part of it. but also i think the experience with iranny policy in the region, that iran's policies, at least interest a sunni arab perspective, have been destabilizing in a number of different contexts. whether it's iran's support of hezbollah in lebanon or it's kind of meddling in other
contexts. so i think it's only natural to ex -- to expect this would be one area where you see overlap between arab publics and trump's position. there's also one other area where there's some overlap. this is one of the things that really stood out to me in reading the report. there's 37 countries surveyed. the highest support for building a border wall with mexico, trump's wall, is actually among jordanians. they're number one out of 37 countries. and 44% support a border wall. constanze: and you have an explanation for this? [laughter] shadi: we can speculate. i guess the one speculation would be that jordan has had a massive influx of refugees over the past 15 years. not just even recently. so you had palestinian refugees, iraqi refugees and now syrian
refugees. and it's really altered the demographic makeup of the country. that would be my guess. tarun: i was interested on that point. 63% in turkey opposed the border wall. shadi: yeah. so you'd think that maybe turkey would share jordan's perspective on this. again, because they've had a big influx of syrian refugees. know. i don't one possibility is that there haven't been previous influxes. so this is the first time that turkey has really had to deal with this. turkey's a much larger country. jordan is, what, six million people. so if you have hundreds of thousands of refugees coming in, everyone feels it in some way. it affects the housing market. it affects prices and so on. just my experience being in turkey in recent years, you don't feel it as much. also i think that if you support erdogan, he still has strong support among a big chunk of
turks, he sees that as one of the things to be proud of. that sunnis, syrian sunnis, who were oppressed by the assad regime, have safe haven in trm turkey. and he sort of promotes that as part of this turkish exceptionalism, if you will. constanze: the iranian deal. keep in mind that europe was part of the iranian deal. it was co-negotiated by the brits, the french and the germans. so the -- the so-called e-. the european three. we're invested in this. we're not naive. if you talk to european policymakers in the e.u. and national capitals, there is a great amount of concern about iraq's role -- i'm sorry, iran's role in the region. iran's support of terrorist organizations, its ambitions. and of course very little trust in its willingness to actually
stick to the deal. that said, the deal at least gives us a framework. a framework for talking to iran about this. so it's seen as an achievement. that is definitely better than the alternatives. and it is certainly better than the prospect of a regional con flig conflagration caused by a military strike which was very much being discussed in the years before. as we know, that kind of thing hits europe a lot earlier than it -- than the consequences are felt in america. i think that gives you an explanation of how europeans feel. arun: in the back. questioner: hi. i'm ann walters with the german press agency. i wanted to look ahead to the g-20 and see how the panel thinks that these leaders will balance the views of their public with their need to engage with the u.s. on a variety of issues, at the g-20 coming up.
and also how you think trump will be received given some of the major disagreements on things like trade and climate change. constanze: i think we're all going to behave like professionals, is my guess. in other words, the actual issues and the communiques are hashed out by staff on both sides. i would expect that in the white house there are enough people who think, you know this needs to be the domain of professionals and who would be working with european capitals to do this. is it possible for there to be a repetition of something like the brussels speech? yes. there's only so much purchase that any of us, i think including the white house staff, have over the proclivities of the president to ex temp rise,
shall we say. there's also conflicting views within the white house and the administration and the cabinet on what is -- how to deal with these trade disagreements and how to talk to europeans about them. so i think to that degree, there's a significant element of uncertainty. i would expect europeans to be, again, as i said earlier, pursuing it through a hugging and hedging strategy. in other words, attempting to make offers to washington, attempting to find a framework in which it is possible to settle these disagreements. but on some things such as climate change, i think we're just going to have to agree to disagree. i think it's in no one's interest for this to turn into an all-out confrontation over limate change or over trade.
>> what's really interesting is because there's this perception that trump is vindictive, if he doesn't get along with you personally, especially. and that leaders want to kind of go out of their way to make a deal, if you will, or to somehow make the relationship less tens. shadi: so you might recall, there was a "new york times" article about the nato summit where the european leaders were studying up on how to appeal to trump. and that there was a realization that you had to shorten your speeches. politicses like talking for a -- politicses like talking for a very long time. keep it short and sweet. one-minute to five-minute comments so trump could stay engaged. now, that might sound in some ways negative and it makes us feel embarrassed as americans, but it's interesting that despite the dislike of trump, leaders do seem willing and interested to go the extra mile to be in trump's good favor.
i don't know quite what to make of that yet and what that means in practice. but i think that's something to atch pretty closely. questioner: this question i have is on leadership in airborne yafment you mentioned china and u.s. -- asia. you mentioned china and u.s. what does that mean when you say you have leadership in asia? when you talk about international trade, t.p.p. was meant to be a way for other countries to compete with china. and how does it change as america makes decisions on what o do on north korea? >> i'm not sure i understand the connection with the north korea piece -- questioner: [inaudible] -- you talk about trade and now there's this potential escalation of what we're going to do with north korea. and how that impacts the relationship with china and u.s. and therefore all of asia.
just your thoughts on leadership in asia as the role of america. >> i'll take the t.p.p. piece. we can talk about north korea. that's a moreably cated dynamic as it relate -- more complicated dynamic as it relates. the u.s. withdrawal from the trans-pacific partnership again, as was indicated in the survey results, devastating to perception it's of the united states -- per essentials of the united states -- perceptions of the united states. ely: the reason why that matters, there's a growing perception in asia that the future of the economic order will be china-led. it will be china's rules, china's institutions. multilateral or informal that will be convening the region and determining its course and the trans-pacific partnership was the best mechanism to provide an alternative to that. the reason it matters primarily in my view is not just because of the economics of the effects of the trade deal. in fact, i think there are questions about how pronounced that would be. but because the lack of u.s.
leadership on this issue, the lack of the united states being the country that's convening and bringing together an alternative set of countries, starts cascading into other sets of issues. so if a country like -- let's say a country in southeast asia perceives that the united states is withdrawing economically, that their economic fortunes -- future will lie with china, and if they defy china over a variety of issues, they'll face economic punishment for them, again, that's going to cascade into other issues. they may be less willing to sign a new access agreement with the u.s. military. they may be less willing to sign up for -- to criticize human rights at the united nations. so these things i think given the central of the -- sent tralt of the economics in asia, this really matters. the tag line i keep saying, there's no amount of defense spending that can make up for this. there's no number of ships that the u.s. military can build that will reverse these perceptions. it will be about economics and
the economics will start having effect. so i think that particular finding, i'll be fascinating to see how it's revealed in the data on the competition, but i think it's going to be pretty stark. if the trump administration doesn't get on the game in a major ambitious trade and investment initiative, whether it's reviving t.p.p. or not, then u.s. leadership in the region will deteriorate no matter what. tarun: let's take two final questions together. one on this side. the gentleman here. i think it's the fourth row. then right across here as well. questioner: my name is steven. earlier trump expressed gratitude with the outcome of brexit. curve on w learning international economics a concern in much of the rest of the world? tarun: right across here as well. we'll take two and wrap up.
questioner: vince, freelance writer. i wanted to touch on a middle east question for shadi, about how the u.s. has been able to spread democracy in middle east and around the world historically. it's been the beacon of u.s. foreign policy. but we saw in libya, we saw in iraq and syria that the invasion of iraq, creating these power vacuums has -- it's been a problem in the region. do you think that u.s. foreign policy in terms of being the largest military power in the world and having such a huge influence in the region, has maybe created -- has put maybe a terrorist target on our backs? we've been seeing this in the u.s., we've seen this in europe. in that regard. richard, i do want to talk about
the pew research center poll. what kind of message can you send to congress about these results? and how can that maybe influence policy going forward? thank you. constanze: i was sort of addressing that earlier when i said, when you -- politics is very often a matter of interpretation. economics is not. you're dealing with actual facts. you're dealing with pretty clear causal correlations. without wanting to overstate the field of economics here, as a i think a there is real bemusement in european capitals at the -- not just some of the economic theories or trade theories being propounded new york city by the president, but by significant members of --
not by the president but by significant members of the administration, and even more concerning, the degree to which there seems to be a feeling in this administration that trade wars are a good thing. and that trade relationships are something that are of necessity or that from america's vantage point ought to always be calculated on a bilateral level. and that therefore the question of fairness and reciprocity needs to be settled bilaterally. for the european union, where we as european nation states have delegated trade policymaking capability to brussels and to the european union authorities, that's a legal and factual impossibility. we can't do that. all conversations that european leaders have had with the white house indicate that that fact, which has been a fact for more than 20 years, is just not acceptabled -- accepted. and that makes that confrontation a really difficult one to have.
again, i think there's a tremendous amount of sense in europe that these things are so important that be -- that we cannot afford to let this relationship deteriorate. but we can't blow up the european union just to make the white house trade negotiators happy. that's not going to happen. and we are currently seeing, in the context of brexit, just how difficult it is for one country to leave. and it's not because we're making it particularly difficult. it's because the process itself is difficult. because so many laws and egulations bind us together. >> very quickly. to underscore something. this issue is much bigger than trump now. what the question will be, how is he activating american politics in a way where it's actually not necessarily about trump, the democratic party's not showing bold leadership itself on free trade right now. ely: so i think it will be -- the political conversation in the united states is only going to get more difficult around
these issues and we start getting to areas of autonomy and robotics and it's a big problem, this question of globalization and the future of work and what advanced societies are going to do about that. trump matters but he may -- whether he learns about the importance of the european union or the trans-pacific partnership, it's not clear the political waters in the united states will bear, even if he didn't change his mind, in either party. there's a lot of work to do now that goes way beyond trump on these economic issues. >> it's bothering me a little bit in the kind of media discourse where people say, well, trump is giving up on decades of bipartisan consensus on supporting democracy. shadi: and he's embracing dictators like al-sisi and other arab autocrats. it's almost as if we've forgotten that the one major criticism of obama was that he was unusually bad on human rights and democracy and actively and quite consciously de-emphasized those issues in
the broader context of the u.s. foreign policy. so take for example the fact that secretary kerry was efusively praising egyptian president al-sisi two or three months after the worst massacre in modern egyptian history. and crediting al-sisi for presiding over a democratic transition. can you imagine if trump did something like that? the entire left would be freaking out about it. so i think we have to be very reful about disentakering -- disentangling our personal dislike of donald trump from our analysis. whether it's analysts or journalists, the sort of prevalent dislike of trump i think has made it more difficult for us to be objective about trump's foreign policy. but the bigger point is that we have a pretty bad record on supporting democracy in the middle east. that's not the providence of one president or another. that's a five or six decade
thing that's been pretty consistent. so i would be very careful about seeing trump as exceptional in that regard. the last thing, on the question of, does intervening lead to moranity american sentiment. yes, there is -- more anti-american sent. yes, there is data in literature which suggests a kind of relationship. but nonintervention also seems to have a relationship with the rise of extremism and terrorism. i think syria is a very good example of that. that's where we said, hey, we're going to stay as far away as possible from this. we're going to do a reverse iraq in syria. but what that led to in practice is the rapid rise and emergence of the most successful extremist group of recent decades. isis. tarun: richard, final word to you. please feel free to give us a plug
,> in terms of economic policy -- the theme as you look across the different tested a lot of opposition to the idea of the u.s. withdrawing from commitments around the world and putting up barriers, restrictions on people entering the country from muslim nations, putting a wall between the u.s. and mexico, pulling out of trade agreements, pulling out of the iran nuclear deal. all these questions we ask about policies. it played into how people view america's role in the world. to put a plug in for research, at attitudesoking towards globalization and