It only takes a handful of outspoken Americans to give all of us a bad reputation on the international stage. These negative perceptions can have broad repercussions, even impacting a country’s foreign policy. Sadly, there are quite a few nations out there that generally take a dim view of tourists who hail from the ol’ US of A. Below is a list of 22 countries in which Americans may not feel all that welcome. However, remember that this claim might not always be true. You probably, however, want to make an extra effort to respect the culture, laws and foreign policies unless you want to have to lawyer up and confirm our bad reputation.
The American ‘we’re the best’ attitude is not appreciated among the Danish who are known to be very simple and polite people trading thank-yous and you’re-welcomes at every occasion. It is a widespread view in Denmark that Americans consider themselves to be superior to everyone else and this makes them unpopular.
The US’s frosty relationship with Russia began with the Cold War and it still hasn’t thawed. More recently, America’s opposition to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine has made the country even more unpopular among Russians, with 71% viewing the US unfavorably. The hit 2019 American TV series Chernobyl has done little to improve relations! Such are the trials of the past that lingers.
With a Pew survey revealing that 63% of Greeks dislike Americans, it is irrepressible American optimism that really gets under Greeks’ skin. With the country laboring under crushing debts, the ‘it’ll be fine’ attitude of some Americans is not viewed positively. Additionally, and unsurprisingly, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which holds several seats in parliament, is highly critical of America’s love affair with capitalism end the importance of their banks.
The American film industry has chosen Brazil as a location for numerous films but these films typically ignore the reality of Brazilian life and disrespect Brazilian people. Producers and directors are only renting homes or using Brazilian land to film American stories. American tourists are criticized for visiting Brazil as part of ‘poverty tourism’ and are thus not warmly welcomed.
There is a long history of animosity between the US and Argentina. One that can not be solved with attorneys in a courtroom. In World War I, the US accused Argentina of abusing people’s human rights, yet it is the US that most Argentineans consider to be an untrustworthy global agent.
Well over half (60%) of Spaniards view Americans unfavorably. American foreign policy, in particular, George W. Bush’s war on terror, has gone down very badly in Spain as has the election of Donald Trump. It seems that Spanish people prefer leaders who invest in peace, not walls.
Not all Americans save up for their travels before they leave. Some prefer to ‘wing it’ and try to fund their vacation as they’re traveling. This has led to the rise of something called ‘beg-packing.’ As the name suggests, beg-packing involves tourists sitting on street corners to beg locals and fellow tourists for money so they can continue their holiday. In a country such as Indonesia, where over 31 million live in poverty, this practice is understandably seen as really quite disgraceful.
For many Australians, the US’s drive for power is feeding racism and discontent by feeding white nationalism and anti-fa protesters alike as a variety of views battle for supremacy. Additionally, as elsewhere, Trump is deeply unpopular in Australia. His bad reputation often transfers to American tourists.
In the Netherlands, 59% of people attribute negative characteristics to Americans. Specifically, they see people from the US as having extremist views and as overweight, dumb, paranoid and racist. Nonetheless, there is, to a certain degree, some hope in the country that not all Americans live up (or down) to this stereotype.
The prevailing view in Ireland, which is more marked among its merchants who sometimes do business with US tourists, is that Americans are arrogant. They are particularly unimpressed when Americans turn up thinking they can use US dollars in the country. The reason why this behavior is viewed unsympathetically is simple: Ireland has its own currency!
America has backed Hosni Mubarak and failed to act when the Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown. As a result, a Pew survey reveals that 85% of Egyptians view Americans negatively although one can not credit the citizens for a political decision.
Belarus has a good relationship with Russia and thus its tense relationship with the US transfers to Belarus. A total of 69% of Belarussians hold unfavorable views of Americans.
Most Slovenians surveyed stated they disapprove of American leadership. But the relationship between the two countries may improve now that a Slovenian, Melania Trump, is first lady. Therefore, the previous claim might no longer be true.
The much-publicized wall that President Trump has said he will build between the US and Mexico, with Mexico having to purchase the materials and footing the bill for its construction, has done nothing to ingratiate America to its southern neighbor. In Mexico, 65% of people do not like Americans.
As for the US’s northern neighbor, there’s not much love lost there either, with 51% of Canadians holding unfavorable views of Americans. This disapproval is mostly a result of the election of Trump as President and his pursuit of policies that conflict with Canada’s as well as his way of conducting business.
The Swedish are critical of the fetishization of their country by liberal Americans who see it as some kind of liberal utopia and claim it is paradise on earth. Additionally, the election of Trump has contributed to Sweden’s cooling relationship with the US, with 51% of Swedes disapproving of Americans.
It’s American ignorance of geography that really frustrates Belgians. They can’t believe some college students can’t situate their country on a map. With a university degree, one should also know that Belgium is a country, not a German city.
The U.S. State Department has described Chile as among the country’s strongest Latin American partners. However, as 47% of Chileans view America negatively, the US government may struggle to exploit this supposedly ‘strong’ partnership to conduct business.
While US tourists may not be able to speak much French, a lot of French people are pretty good English-speakers. Negative comments said in English are often understood by locals and not remaining polite in both languages can cause friction. Yet, unlike in the US, the French are not going to call their lawyer and sue you.
The release of Innocence of Muslims, a 2013 anti-Muslim film created by an American, was met with anger in the Islamic nation of Tunisia who definitely did not purchase nor feature the motion picture in their theatres. It has undoubtedly played its part in turning 47% of Tunisians against the US.
The fraught US-German relationship is at turns full of love and full of hate established by the trials of the past. Generally, Germans consider Americans to be lazy slobs.
Pakistan has been a focus of American attention since 9/11. A tension that transferred to the people of Pakistan. One effect of the US’s ongoing military presence in the country is that 59-65% of the Pakistani population now view Americans negatively.