America's global influence declined during Trump presidency
America's global influence has waned during Donald Trump's presidency and President-elect Joe Biden will unlikely be able to restore Washington’s global influence.
Diplomats, foreign officials and scholars from numerous countries have described a changing world order in which the United States has less of a central role.
Many close allies of the US, including France, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Turkey and Germany, have quietly edged away from Washington over the past three years.
A prominent economic adviser to Japan’s prime minister says Tokyo should prepare for a “leaderless era” as U.S. global leadership gradually withers, and expand other strategic ties.
Although discussions about America’s declining global influence are not new, experts say this is a major change. For generations, America saw itself as the center of the world.
"We are America," said Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration. "We are the indispensable nation."
Although the US is still a superpower, the country's waning influence is profoundly redrawing the geopolitical map, opening the way for Washington's two most powerful adversaries — Russia and China — to extend their reach into many countries where they had long been seen with suspicion.
Perhaps more than any other Western leader, French President Emmanuel Macron has made clear that Europe should look to Beijing, not Washington, when it comes to addressing global issues from trade wars to climate change.
Macron's recent trip to China was choreographed in part to convey that the European Union has little faith in Washington anymore.
Europe is on "the edge of a precipice," Macron told The Economist magazine in a recent interview. "What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO," he said, a reference to the announced U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria.
In some ways, Washington's declining influence is simply a reflection of history: America is no longer the singular economic and military giant that overshadowed nearly every other nation.
In 1945, America had the world's only nuclear weapons and produced roughly half the world's gross domestic product. Today, the U.S. has perhaps 15 percent of global GDP and even North Korea has nuclear weapons.
Other countries have grown immensely. China, once a poverty-battered behemoth, has become a financial giant and an emerging superpower. Countries from Brazil to India to South Korea have become serious regional powers.