Battle of the Dons! European Commission head Donald Tusk slaps back at Trump after his latest NATO swipe saying: ‘America: appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many’
- President Trump repeatedly berated America’s European allies for failing to meet their defense spending obligations to NATO
- European Council President Donald Tusk hit right back at him at an EU-NATO signing event: ‘America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe’
- Tusk said: ‘America appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many’
- President Trump tweeted minutes later: NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!’
- He told reporters as he prepared to board Marine One that America has plenty of allies and put new pressure on NATO nations to increase their defense spending
- U.S. NATO ambassador said this week that the United States’ European partners had not brought up trade in the context of security alliance
- ‘Our diplomats are professional and they are staying on our NATO issues, where we are 100 percent allied,’ Kay Bailey Hutchison said on Sunday
- Trump defied her and put his tariffs on the table for discussion at NATO’s summit in Brussels, where he arrives on Tuesday evening, in tweets
- The appearance was gearing up to be a repeat performance of a confrontation at last month’s G7 summit in Canada
Donald Trump said Tuesday that America has ‘a lot of allies’ as a new front in the dispute between the United States and Europe over trade and security opened up.
Trump signaled in an early morning tweet that foreign leaders can expect a reckoning when he sees them this week in Brussels at the NATO summit over the ‘unfair’ burden on the U.S. taxpayer to pay for Europe’s protection.
He was met with an immediate brush-back from European Council President Donald Tusk.
Tusk said at a signing of a joint declaration between the Brussels-based security alliance and the body of EU nations that Trump should be more careful with his taunts.
‘America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe. Today Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russia and as much as China,’ he said in remarks that were directed at the U.S. president. ‘And I think you can have no doubt, Mr. President, that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security.’
Then, in the toughest challenge yet to Trump, he said: ‘America: appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many.’
Trump fired back minutes later as he left the White House en route to NATO.
‘We do have a lot of allies. But we cannot be taken advantage of. We’re being taken advantage of by the European Union,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘We lost $151 billion last year on trade, and on top of that we spend at least 70 per cent for NATO, and frankly it helps them a lot more than it helps us. So we’ll see what happens.’
U.S. President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that European leaders can expect a reckoning when he sees them this week in Brussels at the NATO summit and faced an immediate brush-back from European Council President Donald Tusk
President Trump signaled Tuesday that European leaders can expect a reckoning when he sees them this week in Brussels at the NATO summit. He’s seen here in May of 2017 at a working dinner at last year’s NATO gathering
Trump woke up early on Tuesday chagrined about the United States’ trade relationship with allies that are part of the Brussels-based security and their lacking contributions to NATO’s defense fund
Tusk fired back at Trump from NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels: ‘America: appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many’
Trump had invited the challenge with tweets and remarks in the lead-up to the alliance’s summertime summit by pillorying NATO member nations.
Just prior to Tusk’s comments on Tuesday, Trump complained that the United States is bearing the brunt of the 29-nation security alliance’s costs and that’s not fair to Americans, especially when they’re getting hosed in the markets.
‘The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer,’ he griped. ‘On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!’
Trump is leaving Washington this morning for Belgium — his first stop on a four-nation tour of Europe that will take him to England and Scotland with a finale in Finland.
Trump woke up early on Tuesday chagrined about the United States’ trade relationship with allies that are part of the Brussels-based security and their lacking contributions to NATO’s defense fund.
Just 16 countries are on track to meet the agreed up spending obligation of 2 percent GDP, the United States has said, in accordance with a 2014 agreement.
Trump berated America’s European allies on Monday over defense spending while at the same time running massive trade deficits with the U.S.
The president directly linked the trade discrepancies that inspired his heavy tariffs on metal imports to Western security in tweets that contradicted his NATO ambassador’s assessment a day prior that the policies should be evaluated separately from one another.
‘NATO benefits 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% commitments,’ Trump said. ‘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!’
The president directly linked the the trade discrepancies that inspired his heavy metal tariffs in tweets that contradicted his NATO ambassador’s assessment a day prior that the policies should be evaluated separately from one another. He’s pictured here talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June at the G7 summit
The president put trade on the table in talks that begin Wednesday in Brussels with the tweets that kicked off a day that was supposed to be focused on his Supreme Court appointment
The president put trade on the table in talks that begin Wednesday in Brussels with the tweets that kicked off a day that was supposed to be focused on his Supreme Court appointment. He’ll unveil his nominee at a primetime event at the White House on Monday.
Trump departs the U.S. for Belgium, where NATO recently opened new headquarters, on Tuesday. He meets with European allies all day Wednesday and part of Thursday before a short stop in London for a working visit with Theresa May. Hell also have a private audience with the queen.
His trip Brussels was gearing up on Monday to be a repeat of the testy confrontation he had with leaders from allied nations in June at the G7 summit in Charlevoix.
He butt heads with them on trade in Canada, where he complained that NATO is ‘much too costly for the U.S’ and almost as bad as NAFTA.
In Belgium, he will come face-to-face with Canada’s Justin Trudeau for the first time since senior aides to Trump accused the prime minister of trying to sabotage the American president’s Singapore summit.
Trump will face opposition in Brussels from almost all of NATO’s 29 member nations over his worldwide steel and aluminum tariffs. The EU and Canada have retaliated with stiff penalties of their own on American-made products.
He will also enter uncomfortable talks about the alliance’s security posture, as well as the United States’ in response to his decision to conclude his tour of Europe with a tacked on stop in Finland to negotiate with NATO nemesis and Russian head of state Vladimir Putin.
The president who has complained since he was a candidate about NATO burden sharing was expected to pressure member nations in Brussels to meet a soft goal of two percent GDP for defense spending that was agreed to by the group years before he took office.
He has singled out Germany as a violator repeatedly. His defense secretary recently put a microscope on spending by the contribution-abiding U.K. in a new twist of the knife, as revealed in a letter that leaked to The Sun.
‘The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is 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%,’ Trump harped on Monday.
Trump had hammered Germany at a Thursday evening rally, as well. The president said at the campaign function that he’d told the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, that he believes Europe is benefited more by the security alliance because of its proximity to Russia than the U.S.
Germany puts 1.2 percent of its GDP toward the collective defense of NATO nations compared to the United States’ 4 percent, Trump pointed out, rounding Berlin’s contribution down to 1 percent.
He repeated the charge in tweets on Monday in which he again brought up the EU’s trade deficit with the United States.
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An outside view of the NATO building is seen at the NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The security organization has its annual summit in Belgium this week
A day prior, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hucthison, had insisted on Fox News that trade and security were not related and should not be a subject of NATO talks.
‘One thing I will say is that in all of the disagreements that we have seen at the G7 and with allies with whom we are now having trade talks and negotiations and tariffs, that has not come up in the NATO context,’ she stated. ‘Our diplomats are professional and they are staying on our NATO issues, where we are 100 percent allied.’
Trump in his Monday morning messages invited world leaders to confront him in Brussels, where Hutchison had said that Russia’s ‘malign activities’ and a ‘rising China’ would be the foremost topics.
TRUMP’S AGENDA IN BRUSSELS
President Trump arrives in Brussels on Tuesday evening local time July 10.
He begins his Wednesday with a bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. His secretaries of defense and state and his national security adviser will also participate in the conversation.
Trump will next meet with the United States’ Brussels missions’ staff and families, as is customary for a U.S. president when visiting foreign countries.
Later on Wednesday he will attend an opening ceremony at the NATO headquarters. There, he will meet privately with unknown heads of government.
He will attend a working dinner that evening with fellow leaders.
Wednesday morning leaders will participate in meeting with the presidents of Georgia and Ukraine.
An Afghan strategy session follows.
Trump departs Belgium on Wednesday afternoon for London, where he has a working visit with Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with the queen before a weekend in Scotland.
He caps his trip to Europe with a stop in Helsinki, Finland, for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The president on Friday slapped $34 billion in tariffs on China that were aimed at reducing a trade deficit with the country that the U.S. has also accused of rampant and intentional intellectual property violations.
He is said to have told France’s Emmanuel Macron that the EU is worse than China on trade in some ways when they met last month at the G7.
The rift over trade and the president’s planned talks with Putin set the stage for more tension in Belgium.
Hucthison pointed out on Sunday that Trump’s way of doing business had been effective, though, pointing to increased contributions to NATO since he took office.
‘NATO really is making progress and they are doing it really at President Trump’s insistence, and I think that it’s very clear, and he’s been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security,’ she said. ‘Every ally is now increasing defense spending.’
Trump’s liaison to NATO said, ‘We’ve had the largest increase in defense spending since the Cold War. And in the year and a half since President Trump has been in office, it has doubled since 2014.
‘So, I think he is making an impact and I think that the Europeans, including Chancellor Merkel just recently who has said we are going to do more,’ she said. ‘We need to do more, it’s the right thing to do and she is encouraging her Bundestag, her parliament, to increase the defense budget so that we will be more fit for purpose in NATO for the fights that we want to deter.’
Merkel said last month in a speech to parliament that she anticipates ‘very difficult’ talks in Brussels in a pointed reference to the increasingly complicated relationship between Germany and the United States in the era of Donald Trump.
A day prior, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hucthison, had insisted on Fox News that trade and security were not related and should not be a subject of NATO talks
‘It is no secret that the transatlantic alliance is under strain at the moment but we are convinced that the alliance remains central to our common security,’ the European leader stated.
Trump hit back at her on Thursday evening, saying in remarks at a campaign event for a U.S. Senate candidate that Europe is killing America on trade and paying Russia billions for oil and gas all while complaining that it needs protection from Putin and his military.
‘We’re paying anywhere from 70- to 90-percent to protect Europe. And that’s fine. Of course, they kill us on trade. They kill us on other things,’ he proclaimed. ‘So they want to protect against Russia, yet they pay billions of dollars to Russia and we’re the schmucks paying for the whole thing.’
The president said he told Merkel in an undated conversation that he couldn’t commit to protecting Germany from Putin’s army.
‘Putin is fine. He’s fine. We’re all people,’ he said. ‘Will I be prepared? I’ve been preparing for this stuff all my life.’
Hutchison said Sunday that she does not agree with the president’s assessment of Putin. She said Trump is right, however, to engage with the former KGB spy who has personally been accused by the U.S. of directing a scheme to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
‘We should be talking to Vladimir Putin and many of our allied nations do as well,’ she said. ‘But it is to try to bring them in the tent instead of just constantly seeing them do these things that are attempting to disrupt us, but will not.’
Trump hammered Germany at a Thursday evening rally. He says he told the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, that he believes Europe is benefited more by the NATO security alliance because of its proximity to Russia and because it doesn’t contribute enough to NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also pointed out in an interview with CNBC that the security alliance has not completely shunned Russia.
‘Russia is our neighbor. Russia is here to stay and we have to strive for a better relationship and therefore I welcome the fact that President Trump will meet President Putin,’ Stoltenberg said.
He told the American news network that ‘dialogue with Russia is absolutely consistent with NATO policies’ in an interview previewing the Brussels summit.
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