Share article:
Share article:

Trump expects Belgium to increase military spending

Credit: Belga

United States President Donald Trump wants Belgium to increase its military spending now that it’s expected to host American troops after they withdrew from Germany, he said on Wednesday.

Nearly 12,000 US troops will be withdrawing from Germany in the coming years after Trump said that the country didn’t spend enough on NATO and was taking advantage of US contributions.

Belgium and Italy, who will both host US troops, fail to reach the military spending target of 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) set by NATO, but Trump is determined to change that.

“I told them: you will pay,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. NATO’s target for military spending was accepted in 2014 by all NATO member states, but far from all countries reach this target.

Related Articles

 

Trump has made meeting his commitment to reach the target of 2% of GDP by 2024 a foreign policy priority, occasionally even talking about doubling it.

He has described Germany’s contributions to NATO as a “tremendous delinquency” and criticised Germany for being too dependent on gas supplied by Russia, referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Germany is expected to spend 1.42% of its GDP on defence in 2020, while Belgium and Italy spent 0.93% and 1.21% respectively of their GDP in 2019.

In this interview with Fox News, the American President also took credit for the fact that several allies have increased their defence spending, while criticising his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, for his inaction in this area.

“The United States was paying for everybody,” Trump asserted. “I said ‘you gotta pay.’ Bottom line, after one meeting we got $130 billion a year more, going to $400 billion.”

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...