Majority of French no longer see US as trusted ally, poll finds

Only 44% view America as a friend that can be relied on and 54% have a 'very bad opinion' of Trump; 88% say administration harming fight against global warming

US President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office in Washington, DC, September 11, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

PARIS, France — France is famously America’s oldest ally, but more than half of French people no longer consider the United States a reliable partner, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Just 44 percent said the US was a “trusted ally” under US President Donald Trump — a 33 point plunge since the same survey was done in May 2014, when Barack Obama was in the White House.

Only 17% said they had a positive opinion of Trump in the Ifop poll, commissioned by the American Jewish Committee advocacy group, France’s Foundation for Political Innovation and the Sursaut think-tank collective.

Some 54% said they had a “very bad opinion” of the Republican leader.

Supporters of the far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen — formerly the National Front — were the only group to express a more positive opinion, with 42% backing Trump.

Despite warm ties dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century and their alliance in World War II, US policy has long been a source of criticism in France, not least since the conflict in Iraq.

As Trump pursues punitive trade tariffs, 78% believe the US is bad for French growth.

And with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, 88% also see his country as an adversary in the fight against global warming.

The figures do however point to a slight improvement in opinions since Trump’s victory in November 2016, when just 38% considered the US a trusted ally.

Attitudes also vary between age groups, with the oldest French nationals holding the most pessimistic views of the US.

Only 38% of those over 65 see Washington as a trusted ally, compared to 52% of those aged 18 to 24.

The survey questioned 1,007 people online on September 10 and 11.

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