Skip to Content

NATO stamp, Wikipedia; Containers stacked, Stock photo from Pexels

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

    Read more

    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. 

    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 violation​s​ 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 del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    World Cup is destroying UK’s anti-Russian propaganda

    The World Cup in Russia is turning out to be a stunning success and a PR disaster for Britain's anti-Russian cohorts. Even BBC sports journalists and pundits are ignoring propaganda narratives and going off-message to enthuse about everything Russian, especially the welcome they are receiving.

    Migrant accused of teen’s murder boasted about everything being free

    Ali B, the alleged murderer of a German teen, as well as his family raved to relatives back in Iraq that they would not have to work and that they would be given free money by the state.

    Matteo Salvini. Photo: matteoslavini.it

    Salvini calls for Roma census as top Vatican official heads for Bilderberg

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday announced the intention of holding a special census of Roma people in Italy with the intention of closing all illegal Roma camps in the country.

    Head of German job centre caught rioting with extremists

    WuppertalThe German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is already well-stocked with leftists. But the chief of an urban job center has taken his ideology to the next level.

    Salvini blocks two more NGO vessels from entering Italian ports

    RomeOn Saturday Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini warned that another two migrant rescue vessels arriving from the Libyan coast would not be allowed to dock with their "human cargo" at an Italian port.

    Dutch teens are drinking themselves into a coma

    Dutch teenagers drinking themselves to the point of needing to be hospitalised rose again last year, the NRC said on Friday.

    Almost half of Syrian migrants suffer from mental illness Dutch study shows

    More than 40 percent of Syrian asylum applicants in the Netherlands have psychological problems like depression and anxiety or worse, according to a study by the Dutch social and cultural planning office SCP.

    Counter-terrorism gives green light to Wilders’ Mohammad cartoon contest

    Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders has been given the green light to organise a Mohammed cartoon competition in the Dutch House of Representatives.

    Another teenage girl stabbed to death in Germany

    A Turkish migrant has turned himself in to German police, after the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl in the German town of Viersen, near Düsseldorf.

    German media mogul complains that PC culture is boosting ‘populists’

    ViennaThe CEO of Axel Springer AG, Mathias Döpfner, has lamented the "hysterical exaggeration" of political correctness. But it was his media concern that contributed largely to the current climate.

    Go to archive