Why is America so weird
surveyWhat Germans and Americans think of each other
US President Donald Trump is usually not good at talking about Germany: Germany sells too many cars in the US, generally exports too much and buys too little. Interest rates in Germany are too low. Germany gives too little money for Ukraine and for NATO. Trump's accusation: Germany and the other European countries founded the European Union with the aim of harming the USA.
In February, Trump said the US was being exploited by many countries, especially allies. Sometimes allies are better at this than the enemy.
The majority of Americans think the relationship is good
Trump's foul play against the allied Germany, however, has little influence on the Americans. A survey by the Körber Foundation and the Pew Research Center shows that 75 percent of the Americans surveyed rate the relationship between the two countries as "good". The value actually rose during Trump's presidency.
Pew poll expert Jacob Poushter said, even if you look at the parties in the USA separately: They did not find that the fundamental image of Germany among Trump's Republicans was particularly negative.
Poushter referred to the dispute over how much NATO members should spend on defense. Trump demands at least two percent, Germany is far from that. In 2017, almost half of Americans thought the European allies should increase their spending. Now the issue is no longer so prominent in the public debate - and half think it will be enough if they keep their spending.
That shows what it means for public opinion if a topic is discussed in particular. Especially a topic that is seen as partisan in the USA. Indeed, when it comes to defense spending, Democratic voters have always been more indulgent to Europeans than Republicans.
The majority of Germans think the relationship is bad
What worries American foreign policy experts: While Americans see their relationship with Germany as fundamentally positive, it is the other way around for Germans. 64 percent think the ratio is bad.
Public opinions differ on many security issues. Is it sometimes necessary to use military force? For the Americans, 78 percent said yes, for the Germans 47 percent. Should your country defend a NATO member under attack from Russia? 60 percent of Americans said yes, 60 percent of Germans - no. More than half of Germans would double their defense budget if it gave them more independence from the United States.
Surveys from recent years show that the Germans' image of America is also largely determined by the current president. The Americans are more constant in their image of Germany, which may also be due to the fact that they are nowhere near as attentive to German politics as the Germans are to US politics.
Pew poll expert Jacob Poushter refers to the 35,000 US soldiers stationed in Germany: 85 percent of Americans said the troops in Germany are very important for American security. That shows a connection that goes beyond everyday life.
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