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America seems to have lost some ground as an international status symbol. Over the past year, in many countries around the world, the number of people who have lost respect for all things American has increased, according to a recent study by New York City-based market research firm RoperASW. The survey of 30,000 people — 1,000 in each of 30 different countries — found, for example, that only 15 percent of Indonesians today feel very or somewhat favorable toward the United States, compared with 61 percent who felt that way just a year ago. Not surprisingly, residents of other heavily Islamic countries — including Jordan, Nigeria and Turkey — are also among those who have lost love for the American way. But even our Western allies have started to have misgivings. The percentage of Russians who see the U.S. in a favorable light fell 25 percentage points in the past year. The share of French, Germans and Italians with positive things to say about America has also diminished significantly, by 20, 16 and 10 percentage points, respectively. Even the Canadians and Brits are less supportive today than they were just a year ago. Perhaps it is time for a little damage control.


A decrease in positive feelings toward the United States seems to correspond with an increased affinity for local culture. Fifty-two percent of Japanese residents polled say that they feel “very close� to their local culture today, an increase of 20 percentage points since 1999.

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