NATO announces expansion as trade war with EU hots up
NATO unveiled new plans during a two-day meeting of its defence ministers in Brussels, ahead of a NATO summit to be attended by US President Donald Trump as the trade war between former allies grows hotter.
Published: June 11, 2018, 7:33 am
The Trump administration blamed Canada for Trump’s decision to not sign on to a communique at the G-7 summit in Quebec, Canada, over the weekend. “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” White House adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News on Sunday.
The US decision to withdraw from a communique has irked G-7 leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the development “depressing” and “sobering”. The forum, now the G-6, used to act as the steering committee for the world economy.
An open trade war is now looming after Trump doubled down on his decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports at the beginning of the month. Canada, Mexico and European countries have vowed to implement retaliatory tariffs.
In response, a reinforcement of NATO’s presence in Europe was announced with the deployment of 30 troop battalions, 30 aircraft squadrons and 30 warships within 30 days — the so-called “Four 30s”.
NATO ministers also increased staffing levels to more than 1 200 personnel for two new commands in Norfolk, Virginia and Ulm, Germany to operate during a conflict in mainland Europe, the Associated Press reported.
“We have decided further steps to strengthen our shared security and boost defence and deterrence against threats from any direction,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the media. He said that the two commands would help to “ensure we have the right forces in the right place at the right time”.
Stoltenberg meanwhile denied that trade tensions had played a part in the Brussels summit. “There are differences related to issues like trade, the Iran nuclear deal and climate change,” he said. “We have disagreements between NATO allies, but we stand together in NATO when it comes to the core task of NATO … to protect each other.”
But the US currently accounts for almost 72 percent of all NATO spending, essentially signalling a strengthening of NATO’s presence amid rising trade tensions.
Only three European nations have hit the 2 percent spending target demanded by the US — the UK, Greece and Estonia. The US hopes that four more nations — Poland, Romania, Latvia and Lithuania — will join by July this year.
Thursday’s NATO summit was the first since the US President fired the first salvo in the trade war by imposing steel tariffs on European allies and Canada.
The US president believes America is being “cheated” by its trading partners, including the EU. As it happens, EU tariffs on average are very similar to those of the US, the Financial Times reported.
Trump surprisingly invited Russia back to the G7, but President Putin declined the invitation.
The US president not only backtracked on his pledge to sign the G7 communiqué shortly after leaving the meeting in Canada, but also launched a personal attack on the Canadian premier calling him “weak”. He has also threatened to impose more trade tariffs on European automobiles “flooding” the US market.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
RomeItalian Interior Ministry officials at the informal EU interior ministries' meeting on Mediterranean migration in Paris on Monday stopped a French initiative towards a joint document and demanded the rotation of safe ports for landing migrants.
AmsterdamDutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders, has called the plan for Amsterdam from the GreenLeft party to end alleged labor market discrimination, "idiotic racism" against whites.
ParisA French study on the electoral behavior of soldiers and gendarmes which examined the votes in several municipalities where their presence is significant, found that the National Rally is growing on Republicans party voters.
WarsawExclusive: Poland's political prisoner Mateusz Piskorski in his first international interview for FreeWestMedia, speaks about the accusations against him, about the conditions in Polish prisons and about this hopes and ideas for future Poland.
MarseilleA French Senator has deplored the many Algerian flags seen in the streets of France after Algeria's victory in the CAN semi-final as well as the absence of the French flag.
ParisDuring the the Bastille Day military parade in France, President Emmanuel Macron was loudly booed as he was coming down the Champs-Élysées aboard a military command car.
GapThree members of the movement were summoned by the French criminal court of Gap, Thursday, July 11, after an anti-immigrantion action organised in the spring of 2018, on the Franco-Italian border.
The German domestic intelligence service, known as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, has classified the Identitarian Movement (IB) as "right-wing extremist".
LondonA survey to gauge British Social Attitudes (BSA) has revealed that the number of Christian believers in the country are at a record low.
BudapestHungarian cabinet chief Antal Rogan told public radio on Sunday that the European Commission needs a leader who respected countries in Central Europe. Rogan was interviewed on Kossuth Radio.