Since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, Germans have lost trust in the United States. According to an opinion poll conducted by Infratest dimap in February 2017, only 22 percent of German respondents considered the United States a reliable partner, down from 59 percent in November 2016. According to a June 2017 survey by Pew Research, moreover, 87 percent of German respondents have no confidence that Trump will do the right thing in world affairs. That has hurt the United States’ overall image; Pew Research data shows that 62 percent of German respondents have unfavorable views of the country. In 2015, that figure was at 45 percent.
Given such strong feelings, it makes sense that Trump has been a frequent topic in Germany’s ongoing federal election campaign. Whether it is his response to the violence in Charlottesville, his announcement of new sanctions on Russia, his pressure on the German government to increase its defense budget, or the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Germany, there is no shortage of fodder for German politicians looking to pick up votes.
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