(National Sentinel) Foreign Policy: Those who have freeloaded off U.S. generosity and commitment to their defense should be on notice now that President Donald J. Trump has completed his first trip abroad: Things will not proceed as they have in the past.
That is certainly the president’s message both to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, to a lesser extent NATO.
Trump said last week that there was a substantial trade imbalance between the U.S. and Germany, and that Berlin was not contributing its share to NATO – criticism he repeated today.
Trump posted a tweet Tuesday saying “we have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change.”
As The Associated Press reported further:
Merkel said Tuesday Germany’s relations with the United States are of “outstanding importance” but it must engage with other key nations going forward. She also suggested in the wake of the Trump visit that Europe’s relationship with Washington had shifted significantly and reiterated her position that “we in Europe have to take our fate into our own hands.”
Trump would like to see Germany take a more independent role on the global stage, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards just yet, as Merkel remains committed to the European Union.
As for NATO, our bet is that fellow members will begin paying up soon, and will continue to contribute the amount they’re supposed to, thanks to Trump’s pressure.