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World Trump’s pressure on NATO is working, US ambassador says

04:08  09 july  2018
04:08  09 july  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

Trump says added NATO funds not enough for U.S.

  Trump says added NATO funds not enough for U.S. U.S. President Donald Trump said his efforts had pushed other NATO countries to contribute more to the Western defense alliance but it was still not enough to offset the burden on U.S. taxpayers. "Over the last year, about $40 billion more has been given by other countries to help NATO but that's not nearly enough," Trump told reporters ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels."The United States is spending far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some."This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair.

From Washington Post: The Trump administration’ s ambassador to NATO said Thursday that no discussions are underway regarding withdrawal of U . S He will hold a working dinner later . Other than with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump has no other bilateral meetings scheduled.

The Trump administration’ s ambassador to NATO said Thursday that no discussions are underway regarding withdrawal of U . S . troops in Germany, which she said remain an integral part of U . S . and alliance security strategy.

Flags of member nations fly outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Aug. 29. © Olivier Matthys/AP Flags of member nations fly outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Aug. 29.

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to boost spending for their own defense is paying off, U.S. NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison said.

Separately, the U.S. envoy said she’s concerned that Russia is trying to “flip” Turkey and other American allies to its column.

“NATO really is making progress, and they are doing it really at President Trump’s insistence,” Hutchinson said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s very clear, and he’s been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security.”

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Ivo Daalder, a former U . S . ambassador to NATO , took to Twitter to argue that Trump didn't seem to understand how the alliance works . " US does provide large military commitment to NATO . But this is not a favor to Europe.

After meeting in Brussels with NATO leaders, who he has long pressured to spend more on their own defense, he'll travel to the United Kingdom. The U . S . NATO ambassador had some harsh words for Russia, saying their invasion of Crimea was "illegal." In June, President Trump said " we ’re going to

Hutchison, a former Republican senator from Texas, took up her NATO role in August. She spoke ahead of a potentially testy summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations to be held in Brussels July 11-12.

The U.S. has been seeking an increased commitment by alliance members to increase defense spending. In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, as well as to Canada, warning that the U.S. was losing patience.

What Does Trump Want From NATO (Besides More Money): QuickTake

“It will become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments,” Trump said in a letter addressed to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg seen by Bloomberg News.

FACT CHECK: Trump keeps promoting myth about NATO debt

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The Trump administration' s ambassador to NATO said Thursday that no discussions are underway regarding withdrawal of U . S . troops in Germany, which she said remain an integral part of U . S . and alliance security strategy.

Trump vows to keep pressure on North Korea. Tillerson touts Trump work on NATO , N. Korea. In January, then- US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley resigned over differences with the Trump administration, saying in his resignation letter that "as a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath

In 2014, NATO members pledged to spend at least two percent of economic output on defense by 2024. Estimated 2017 defense spending as a percentage of GDP was 1.2 percent in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy. Only five NATO members -- the U.K., Estonia, Poland and Greece, as well as the U.S. -- were forecast to have met the two percent target in 2017.

Some diplomats fear the president will threaten to pull troops out of Europe without more spending on defense, despite U.S. denials. Separately, doubts about Trump’s commitment to European security has pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

Although Hutchison said threats by Trump to impose tariffs on European cars haven’t come up in the context of NATO, the president has accused European members of the military alliance of denying U.S. companies fair trade access.

‘Change is Coming!’

“We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade. Change is Coming!” Trump said on Twitter in June in posts that specifically called out Germany. “The U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade (they pay only a fraction of the cost -- and laugh!)”

The Latest: Trump says US commitment to NATO remains strong

  The Latest: Trump says US commitment to NATO remains strong U.S. President Donald Trump says the U.S. commitment to NATO "remains very strong" despite reports that he threated to pull out in a dispute over defense spending. Trump says at a news conference Thursday in Brussels that he told "people" that he would be "very unhappy" if they didn't increase their commitments.Trump says the U.S. has been paying "probably 90 percent of the costs of NATO."Trump adds that he was "extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment."NATO had no immediate comment.Trump once declared NATO "obsolete." He says Thursday: "I believe in NATO.

Mr. Trump has a point, but he mischaracterizes the way it works . What is Mr. Trump ’ s complaint? “Europe may owe itself; it certainly owes nothing to the U . S .,” said Ivo Daalder, a former ambassador to NATO under Mr. Obama.

But right now, we have sanctions against Russia because of their malign influence," said Hutchison. Face The Nation. NATO ambassador says Trump to "encourage" Putin to change behavior at Michael J. Fox: Working towards cure for Parkinson' s "one of the great gifts of my life". 4110 views.

Germany’s defense minister last week rebuffed Trump’s twinning of trade and European defense spending ahead of the NATO summit. It was “immature” to link the two topics, Ursula von der Leyen said.

A country’s defense contribution shouldn’t be measured only as a percentage of GDP, but also in terms of troops and hardware, she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Berlin. Still, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a weekly podcast on Saturday, said Germany would increase defense spending in its 2019 budget, suggesting Trump’s jawboning is paying off.

From the two-day NATO meeting in Brussels, Trump heads to the U.K. and then to a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

On Russia, Hutchison said there are signs Moscow is trying to court NATO member Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected in June and is moving to further consolidate power -- including an ongoing purge of thousands of people from government jobs.

“I do think Russia is trying to flip Turkey; they’re trying to flip many of our allies,” Hutchison said. “They want to destabilize the strongest defense alliance in the history of the world, and that’s NATO.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.net;Tony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Mark Niquette

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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.

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