European Union official criticizes Trump over attitude toward allies

11 Juillet, 2018, 04:50 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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"Certainly, the president has been very plainspoken about asking our allies to do more", Hutchison said from Brussels, noting that other former presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, did the same.

The US commander-in-chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe".

Along with trade policies, Trump has been demanding that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members increase their defense spending to come into line with a 2014 commitment while complaining that Europe benefits more from the partnership than the United States.

"I would like to address president Trump directly who for a long time now has been criticising Europe nearly daily", the former Polish prime minister said. "I think what the president is trying to do is sit down with him and say 'you need to come in a different direction".

Flake also said though he supports getting tough with China, he thinks the United States shouldn't be on its own in that approach. "We lost $151 billion past year on trade", the president told reporters.

The meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump will rebuke or embrace Putin, who has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling, in spite of evidence to the contrary. European Union officials also say most tariffs on USA goods are already low to zero.

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Trump went on to tell reporters on the White House lawn that he believes he'll be able to "work something out" with other member countries.

The tensions with Trump look all the more stark in the context of a summit that will take important decisions to boost NATO's ability to defend itself from the threat it sees from Russian Federation.

"We've had falling outs over Libya, Iraq in 2003, but it's qualitatively different in that the biggest of the allies doesn't just have disagreements with us, but actually seems willing to walk away", Valasek said.

On other occasions, the two men discussed Syria, where Putin offered to help Trump achieve his agenda of pulling the U.S. out of the region, before advisers urged the President not to accept such an offer. "This is the president continuing to keep Putin close".

Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin, whose country the US intelligence community has concluded interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

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