Study: Trump Sends Brand USA Down Five Notches to No. 6 Globally

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump Credit: Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons

Donald Trump has hurt the U.S. global brand image significantly, dropping it in a year from No. 1 to No. 6 in the overall ranking of 50 countries, according to the just-released Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index.

The U.S. was the only country in the study to see its overall Index score decline this year. That decline came mainly from the "governance" ranking in the survey, where the U.S. fell from No. 19 last year to No. 23 this year.

Trends for major NBI countries
USA Germany UK France Canada Japan Italy
2017 6 1 3 2 4 5 7
2016 1 2 3 5 4 7 6
2015 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2014 2 1 3 4 5 6 7
2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2011 1 2 3 4 6 5 7
SOURCE: Anholt-GfK Nation Brand Index.

"The USA's fall in the 'governance' suggests that we are witnessing a 'Trump effect,' following President Trump's focused political message of 'America First,'" said Simon Anholt, the independent British policy advisor, who created the NBI study in 2005. He conducts the survey in partnership with Germany-based global market-research firm GfK.

While the global assessment of the U.S. went down sharply this year, Americans' assessment of their own country is "notably more positive this year than last," Anholt says.

Germany climbed a spot to replace the U.S. as No. 1 this year, followed by France, the U.K., Canada and Japan.

The U.S. suffered a similar decline in global perception after George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004 and the country fell to seventh place the following year. But the country has rebounded quickly and has never stayed outside the top ranking for more than a year at a time, Anholt says.

The global survey of 20,000 panel members from 20 developing and developed countries ranks nations on factors that include culture, exports, "immigration and investment," people and tourism.

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