Trump Still Distorting NATO Spending

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 10, 2018

As Trump's arrival approached, European Council President Donald Tusk warned him to stop criticizing its trading and military partners.

A senior European Union official lashed out on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) at President Donald Trump, lambasting the United States leader's constant criticism of European allies and urging him to remember who his friends are when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.

Asked on Tuesday if the Russian president was a "friend or foe", Trump remarked: "I really can't say right now".

Additionally, the communique that emerges from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is more detailed than the broad statement that came out of the G7, which increases the likelihood that Trump will sign off on it, said Michaels.

Accusing the president of criticising Europe "almost daily", Mr Tusk said the European Union spent more than Russian Federation on defence and as much as China.

As European Council president, Tusk serves as the chairman when EU leaders meet at summits. Instead, a series of events _ a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II _ will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump. Not fair to the US taxpayer.

"We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade". We lost $151 billion a year ago on trade.

"If we all speak with the same voice and say you can come into the community of nations, you can be a major player for good - but not when you're violating your commitments, violating treaties, going into a sovereign nation and trying to kill a citizen as happened in United Kingdom.,' she said, referencing the Novichok attack in Britain. Many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years, and not paying in those past years", Trump told the leaders of member countries.

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Also, the U.S. president tweeted that "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS".

European officials say while U.S. defence spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, and just 15 percent of USA expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defence.

Trump, who has compared the sentiment that underpinned the Brexit vote to leave the European Union to his own election, will be making his maiden presidential trip to Britain at a fraught time for May.

"I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing", he added. "We are being taken advantage of by the EU. I don't know how much protection we get from protecting you".

The hint of US withdrawal from Europe, while unlikely, indeed seems to have made many countries hike their defense spending. Member countries contribute part of their wealth towards defense spending - but Trump says that recently, allies aren't paying their fair share.

In comments likely to alarm Mrs May, Trump acknowledged the "turmoil" facing her government but said he was nevertheless looking forward to "an interesting time" when he visits the United Kingdom later this week.

The ties between the USA and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice. Most allies need to spend more on defense.

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