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Global Politics

The State of Trans-Atlantic Relations: H2 2023 Report

November 2023

Report summary

The trans-Atlantic economic relationship is the world’s largest in dollar terms, and arguably the deepest and most complex when it comes to the range of issues involved.

This report leverages Morning Consult’s public opinion data on trans-Atlantic relations among adults in the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom to better understand the drivers of trans-Atlantic trade flows, regulatory policymaking, cooperation on salient technology issues and economic statecraft.

Key Takeaways

  • The trans-Atlantic honeymoon that emerged in dramatic fashion following the onset of the war in Ukraine has begun to subside. Favorability toward the United States and NATO has fallen in most of the European countries surveyed, while U.S. adults’ views of the European Union and NATO are hovering just above prewar levels. Collectively these trends suggest that public support for trans-Atlantic cooperation to backstop Ukraine’s defense efforts is wearing thin, mirroring congressional funding battles in the United States over the same issue.
  • Maintaining sanctions on Russia even if they cause inflation enjoys fair public consensus. In Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, a plurality of adults say they support inflationary sanctions on Russia, while French and Italian adults are now about evenly split. Support among the U.S. public remains in line with the European average.
  • Whether and how to de-risk ties to China will remain contentious. Larger shares of U.S. adults say they are willing to bear the costs to decrease their interdependence with China than their European counterparts. Yet public views vary widely across Europe. Germans stand out: They are now more likely to cite China than the European Union as Berlin’s most important trading partner. As such, they are about evenly split when it comes to their willingness to bear economic costs to de-risk from China.
  • Economic statecraft in the name of national security enjoys high support in key trans-Atlantic markets, but not everywhere. Majorities of U.S. adults are willing to support key measures like export controls, as well as both inbound and outbound investment screening, on national security grounds. They are also more willing to do so than their European counterparts, with U.S. support intensifying among those who are already in favor.
  • Similar dynamics are at play in trans-Atlantic views on friend-shoring and reshoring. Europeans remain less willing to pay more for friend-shored and reshored goods than U.S. adults. These trends will make consumer-facing narratives about the benefits of friend-shoring more likely to be effective in the United States than in Europe.


Sampling and Data Collection

This report relies on data collected through Morning Consult’s proprietary survey research capabilities. Interviews are conducted online.

All U.S. data aside from the country favorability series derives from monthly surveys conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults or 2,000 registered voters each, with unweighted margins of error of +/-2 percentage points. Data are weighted to approximate representative samples of U.S. adults or U.S. voters (page 17 only). All European data aside from the country favorability series derives from surveys conducted quarterly among roughly 1,000 adults per country, with unweighted margins of error of +/-3 percentage points each. Data are weighted to approximate representative samples of adults in each country.

Country favorability data comes from Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Daily values are based on either pooled 5-day moving averages or 30-day moving averages of adults in each market, as indicated in chart-specific methodology statements. Average daily sample sizes per country, as well as target populations and estimated margins of error, can be found in our Global Political Intelligence Methodology Primer.

Weighting and Representativeness

Morning Consult updated its weights for all countries featured in this report on Jan. 1, 2023. Dates indicated in all line charts correspond to the last day of survey fielding for each monthly wave.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Sonnet Frisbie
Sonnet Frisbie
Deputy Head of Political Intelligence

Sonnet Frisbie is the deputy head of political intelligence and leads Morning Consult’s geopolitical risk offering for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Morning Consult, Sonnet spent over a decade at the U.S. State Department specializing in issues at the intersection of economics, commerce and political risk in Iraq, Central Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds an MPP from the University of Chicago.

Follow her on Twitter @sonnetfrisbie. Interested in connecting with Sonnet to discuss her analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].