Germany rejects Trump claim: 'There is no debt account at NATO'
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 21, 2017,
Mar 21, 2017, 13:37
Mr Trump is hosting Angela Merkel at the White House today, with the world's media watching on. Probably from this point of view, Trump's describing U.S.'s situation to be an unfair one can be taken into consideration. But Trump and members of his cabinet have been unusually critical of the alliance and how it is funded.
Germany, whose wartime past has led it traditionally to be reticent on defence matters, now spends 1.2 percent of GDP.
German defence spending is set to rise by €1.4bn ($1.5bn) to €38.5bn ($41.4bn) in 2018 - a figure that is projected to represent 1.26% of economic output, the finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has said.
In 2006, the alliance floated the idea that all members should spend at least 2% of GDP on defense.
Notably, in another of his debatable tweets, Trump particularly targeted Germany for having the benefit of an expensive defense base at the cost of the U.S. Roughly 810,000 Americans are employed by German companies in the US and Washington is Germany's third most important trading partner, after China and France.
During her trip to Washington, Ms Merkel reiterated Germany's commitment to the two percent military spending goal. "Americans can not care more for your children's security than you do". During the Press conference, President Trump vowed commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but once again said that every country would need to pay their fair share.
An increase to two percent would put Berlin's defense budget on a par with Russia's at around 65 billion euros ($70 billion) and is politically controversial as the country heads toward a September general election. Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark are three other small spenders on defense.
"I owe it to you all to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States and to state the fair demand from my country's people in concrete terms", Mattis told foreign dignitaries in a closed-room meeting.
"America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense", he said last month.