Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending

Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending

Separately, Trump also dealt with the ongoing discussions with the European Union on the steel and aluminium tariffs, noting that "Both of my parents are from the European Union, despite the fact they don't treat us well on trade".

Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" and that allies were "going to up it at levels they've never seen before".

And they were more direct in expressing concerns about his treatment of allies and what he might agree to with his Russian counterpart. "We put the largest part of our military capabilities at the service of Nato.We are defending the interests of the USA".

Trump brushed off planned protests in Britain, even as his schedulers set up an itinerary that keeps him out of central London for his events.

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But just days out from a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the mercurial U.S. leader threatened to throw the transatlantic alliance into disarray.

Instead, a series of events a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with 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.

Trump brushed off the protests, saying, "I think they like me a lot in the United Kingdom". "I would think that Putin would be very well prepared, obviously, with answers ... that they've been thinking about for a long time". I dont know if that's what they voted for. "Now maybe there's a bit more urgency now because he's blunter than his predecessors in criticizing his European partners". That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance. "After we're at 2 percent, we'll start talking about going higher". North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has estimated that only 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends. (It's one of three countries to have passed a law mandating an increase to 2 percent.) Since Trump began advocating for countries to hit that goal, 16 have increased spending relative to GDP by at least 5 percent; six of those countries had already increased by at least 5 percent during the two prior years as well.

While it's not the case that the United States makes up 90 percent of spending - Nordenman indicates we cover about a fifth of the alliance's annual costs - it is the case that our military is much larger than any other member. Officials said no explicit threat was made.

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Speaking at a media conference after two days of talks, Mr Trump said the US's allies had committed to raising their commitment beyond 2 per cent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the summit "very intense", and other leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, played down the extent to which they had pledged to accelerate spending plans as fast as Trump wanted.

Trump also singled out Germany over its low-levels of defense spending - it now spends 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense - and renewed his criticism of a controversial gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russian Federation made a day earlier.

The US leader has specifically singled out Germany for criticism over its defence spending.

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During brief remarks to reporters, he mostly praised Trump's approach.

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