Politics Trump Floats Idea NATO Allies Should Double Defense Spending Target

20:17  11 july  2018
20:17  11 july  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue

  Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue Lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution supporting NATO, as President Trump continues to criticize members. The measure expresses the Senate's support for the body and calls on negotiators to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO.The 97-2 vote in the Senate comes as Trump heads to Brussels for the NATO summit. He will also travel to the UK and meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki during his trip.GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the measure, according to Defense News.Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) proposed the measure, calling the U.S. support for NATO "ironclad.

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested to NATO allies that the alliance’s target to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense should be doubled . It was an informal proposal, yet one that does little to ease tensions at an already charged summit.

US president suggests doubling of 2% spending target that only five countries have met.

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Macron Denies Trump Claim That NATO Allies Agreed to Increase Spending Beyond Goals

  Macron Denies Trump Claim That NATO Allies Agreed to Increase Spending Beyond Goals <p>French President Emmanuel Macron denied that any NATO members had agreed to boost contributions beyond 2 percent GDP.</p>“Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” Trump said at his press conference in Brussels.

None of the NATO allies are in arrears on these contributions. Mr. Trump is referring imprecisely to a goal NATO has set for each member to spend at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product on its own defense What does Mr. Trump mean when he says NATO should have had 9 billion more?

The New York Times has concurred that, “Many allies can do more to reach the target level of spending 2 percent of their annual G.D.P. on defense ”—even And when asked why NATO countries should spend 2 percent, experts often cite the fear that Russia—having invaded Ukraine—might

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested to NATO allies that the alliance’s target to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense should be doubled. It was an informal proposal, yet one that does little to ease tensions at an already charged summit.

The suggestion was made behind closed doors at a gathering that’s shaping up into a fight on several fronts, with Trump accusing Germany of being a “captive” to Russia over its support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. He’s also badgering allies to meet a 2 percent target that only five of the 29 members currently meet.

NATO set a goal for members to spend a set proportion of economic output on defense at a 2014 meeting in Wales. Internally, not even NATO uses the figure as a standalone measure of what makes a good ally. Trump’s idea wasn’t reflected in the summit conclusions.

McCain rips Trump: NATO actions 'disappointing' but not surprising

  McCain rips Trump: NATO actions 'disappointing' but not surprising Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday blasted President Trump's rhetoric at the NATO summit, calling it "disappointing" and not representative of the United States. "There is little use in parsing the president's misstatements and bluster, except to say that they are the words of one man. Americans, and their Congress, still believe in the transatlantic alliance and [NATO], and it is clear that our allies still believe in us as well," McCain said in a statement.

President Trump has regularly complained that U.S. allies in NATO are underspending on defense . The 2 percent spending target has long lived as a rough rule of thumb within NATO .

When measured as a share of gross domestic product, the U.S. still spends more than the 2 percent target . In all, the U.S. spent 5.9 billion on defense in 2017. Trump , who has threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending , pushed for the 28 other NATO

According to a French official, Trump said it would be a good thing if everyone spent around 4 percent on defense, which was presumed to be a generous rounding up of the U.S. budget of some 3.57 percent of GDP. It wasn’t a demand, rather just a mention, the French official said.

Still, Trump is using the 4-percent argument to ram home his message that the U.S. gets a bad deal from allies. His point, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, is that NATO members should be spending far more than 2 percent.

Raised it before

“During the president’s remarks today at the NATO summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4%,” Sanders wrote in an email. “The President raised this same issue when he was at NATO last year. President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations.”

Asked about Trump’s comments, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was reluctant to endorse such a move.

“I will focus on what we have agreed and we have agreed that we committed to the pledge increasing defense spending to 2 percent,” he told reporters. “And let’s start with that. We have a way to go.”

With assistance from Viktoria Dendrinou.

European Council President: U.S. 'won't have a better ally' than EU .
President of the European Council Donald Tusk sent a message to President Donald Trump via Twitter."U.S. doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU. We spend on defense much more than Russia and as much as China," Tusk wrote on Twitter after tagging Trump's account.

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