Nation by nation, the world watches Election Day in the US


A TV screen shows images of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Nation by nation, how is Election Day in the United States being watched, considered, assessed? The Korean letters read “2020 America’s Choice.” For both North and South Korea, the fate of nuclear negotiations is top of mind as the two countries look at the U.S. election. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

For four years, the world’s nations have watched as a very different American president engages with the international community — or doesn’t.

Longtime alliances have been strained, agreements wiped away, tariffs erected, funding withdrawn. Some nations have been the objects of presidential derision. Others, like North Korea, have been on the receiving end of diplomatic overtures once considered unthinkable.

For countries around the planet, the presidency of Donald Trump in its first term has been, it is safe to say, a singular experience to watch. Now that an inflection point in Trump’s time in office is at hand with Tuesday’s U.S. election, what’s at stake if his presidency ends — or if it continues? Nation by nation, how is Election Day in the United States being watched, considered, assessed?

Stay tuned to this file as Associated Press correspondents from around the world weigh in throughout U.S. Election Day with insight and analysis about how their regions view what’s happening in the United States — and what the various stakes might be.



Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has made no secret of his preferred winner, openly declaring support for Donald Trump after U.S. and Brazilian officials last month signed a trade facilitation agreement and then a deal for up to $1 billion in financing from the U.S. Export-Import bank. 

“I hope, if it is God’s will, to appear at the inauguration of the president soon to be reelected in the U.S.,” Bolsonaro said with a smile on Oct. 20. “I don’t need to hide that. It’s from the heart.”

Like Trump, Bolsonaro rode a populist wave to election, often appearing to take cues from his U.S. counterpart as he pledged to restore Christian values, squash the radical left and root out corruption. Local political analysts have speculated that the U.S. election could be a bellwether for sustained domestic support of Brazil’s crusading strongman.

One issue that looms large for Brazil is destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Trump has kept silent, but its protection would be front and center for a Joe Biden administration, according to Anya Prusa, a senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Brazil Institute. That was underscored by Biden singling out Brazil during the first presidential debate, saying it should face consequences if it fails to curb deforestation. 

Bolsonaro, who has staunchly defended Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon, shot back that Biden’s comment “clearly signals that he wants to give up a cordial and profitable coexistence.”

On the election’s eve, Bolsonaro took to Twitter to deny a report he had contacted Biden’s team or asked his ambassador to the U.S. to do so. And on Tuesday, he suggested there are strong suspicions foreign powers might try to interfere in the U.S. election — and with his own reelection bid in 2022.

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