4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending

Trump Tariffs and NATO Pressure Bend Risk Trends Dollar Rally Comes with Questions

TRUMP: "Because of me, they've raised about $40 billion over the previous year." - remarks about NATO-member spending on defense at breakfast with Stoltenberg.

He said the US "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that members meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

U.S. President Donald Trump continued to hammer North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations over their defence spending Thursday as he prepared for a second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, pictured here among alliance leaders, struck a diplomatic note about Mr Trump's outspoken calls for other countries to live up to their goal of spending 2 per cent of their economic output on defence.

"I wanted to say that, because of current events, I have witnessed this myself, that a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union". "The President set American back this morning".

Despite the harsh criticism of the president, Kerry agreed that United States allies need to increase their defense spending.

Around eight members of the 29-country military alliance are expected to reach the 2 per cent target this year.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump said in a searing critique over breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "There's a time, place, and manner to raising issues with allies, and trashing them on camera in a way that calls into question the alliance itself isn't it".


The U.S., which spent $685.9 billion on defense in 2017, now makes up 51.1 percent of NATO's combined GDP.

"This isn't good for the United States and there are people across the aisle - and the Senate vote yesterday clearly showed - who know it and need to say it", he said.

'All President Trump is doing is pointing out of hard facts and the hard truth and saying hey look we are going to change this.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were also singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when USA taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills. "Germany is a captive to Russian Federation because it is getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation".

Trump will meet the Russian leader in Helsinki on 16 July for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the USA into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defence alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe.

Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a call for solidarity among the allies, saying, "As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality".

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