The White House is reportedly seeking more flexibility to impose unilateral tariffs and President Donald Trump warned the World Trade Organization that “we will be doing something” if the organization doesn’t start treating the U.S. “properly.”
Trump also called out NATO allies in “a harshly worded letters issued last month,” for “underspending,” Fox News reported. Germany, Norway, and Canada were among the countries included.
According to the New York Times, the letters complained of “growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised.”
There’s nothing new about the president stressing that NATO allies have not lived up to their commitments to pay more toward defense spending, Fox News noted. Trump spoke on the issue at last week’s rally in South Carolina, mentioning Germany.
With the criticism coming ahead of next week’s NATO summit in Brussels, it’s logical to think Trump is setting the stage for some mean negotiating over members pulling their weight.
President Trump met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House on Monday, with trade and security on the agenda.
Trump told reporters Monday that the WTO has treated the U.S. “very badly, and I hope they change their ways,” according to Fox News. The president said he wasn’t “planning anything now” but if the WTO didn’t treat the U.S. properly, “we will be doing something.”
The comments come as Canada and the European Union challenge the U.S. in the intergovernmental organization’s “trade court” over Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.
With a scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin up next, this gives the anti-Trump crowd plenty of fodder to attack the president.
Trump’s supporters back the move to get Europe to start contributing more to NATO, as seen online:
This Veteran & family fully support Team Trump. Trade needs to be equal. Thank God we now have a President that fights for America.🇺🇸 https://t.co/Qr1jCXuDW7
— Scott A Defries (@Redwoods27) July 3, 2018
Time for these deadbeats to pay up! https://t.co/Ws30cvjP9g
— Mike Amrock (@MikeAmrock) July 3, 2018
And his haters label negotiating for a more even distribution of cost “treason.”
— VM (@vjlmnylib) July 3, 2018
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