Trump Presses Germany Spending and EU Trade Deficit Ahead of NATO

AP/Michael Sohn
Washington, DC

President Donald Trump pressed Germany to increase spending on NATO and jabbed the European Union trade barriers on the United States on Monday ahead of this week’s NATO summit in Brussels.

“The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country,” the U.S. president tweeted, calling the state “not fair, nor is it acceptable”:

“While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more. Germany is at 1%, the U.S. is at 4%, and NATO benefits…….,” said Trump. He continued, “…Europe far more than it does the U.S. By some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment”:

Trump pivoted, taking aim at European Union trade barriers to the United States: “On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the U.S., with big Trade Barriers on U.S. goods. NO!”

In May, the World Trade Organization (WTO) sided with the U.S. on the issue of the EU breaking WTO rules with subsidies to airplane manufacturer Airbus. “President Trump has been clear that we will use every available tool to ensure free and fair trade benefits American workers,” ambassador Robert Lighthizer said at the time. He continued, “Unless the EU finally takes action to stop breaking the rules and harming U.S. interests, the United States will have to move forward with countermeasures on EU products.”

In June, Lighthizer rebuked the EU and others for retaliating against U.S. tariffs issued on the basis of national security.

Trump has taken aim at EU trade practices before. At an April rally in Michigan, Trump warned that the U.S. is “not doing business” with the EU until it changes its unfair trading practices with the U.S.

President Trump will meet with other NATO leaders this week in Brussels, Belgium. He will arrive Tuesday. His packed schedule is set to include a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participating in a working dinner with heads of state.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.