Photo by Gage Skidmore
On Wednesday President Donald Trump scolded members of NATO for not spending enough on national defense, asking them to increase spending from two to four percent of their gross domestic product.
In a closed-door meeting with leaders at the North Atlantic Council, Trump doubled down on his demands out of displeasure for the U.S. spending money to support allies in Europe.
“During the President’s remarks today at the NATO summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4%,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“The President raised this same issue when he was at NATO last year,” she added.
“President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations.”
From the start of the NATO summit, Trump focused on increasing allied defense spending. The President made it clear he’s grown tired of the United States spending more on defense than its allies in NATO.
In 2014, NATO countries committed to spending 2 percent of their annual gross domestic product on defense, with the goal of reaching that number by 2024.
The United States, which spent $685.9 billion on defense in 2017, currently makes up 51.1 percent of NATO’s combined GDP. This year, only eight NATO countries are on track to spend more than two percent.