President Trump is getting NATO back on track for American taxpayers—the spending of member countries has increased $130 billion and is on track to be boosted to $400 billion by 2024.

“In the [three] decades before my election, NATO spending declined by two-thirds, and only [three] other NATO members were meeting their financial obligations. Since I took office, the number of NATO allies fulfilling their obligations more than DOUBLED, and NATO spending increased by $130B!” the president announced via Twitter, on Monday.

This week, world leaders are gathering in London for the 2019 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, celebrating 70 years since the beginning of the historic Western alliance.

For decades, NATO members worked together to confront the world’s toughest challenges. But, the alliance’s ability to accomplish that mission became severely weakened. In 2017, when President Trump took office, only four NATO allies were meeting their defense spending obligations under the treaty.

Trump administration is strengthening the alliance by making clear that all members must meet their responsibilities under the agreement, which spells out that 2 percent of GDP be committed to investing in defense, according to the White House.

White House officials said that before President Trump took office just four NATO members had reached the 2% benchmark set in 2014. Now there are nine, and 18 of the 29 are projected to meet the benchmark by 2024.

President Donald J. Trump meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) during a one on one meeting on Dec. 3, 2019, at Winfield House in London. (Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo)

At a conference on Tuesday in London, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised Trump’s leadership with respect to the alliance’s progress.

“We are making real progress, most importantly on the burden sharing,” Secretary General Stoltenberg told reporters. “And your leadership on defense spending is having a real impact. Since 2016, Canada and European allies have added $130 billion more to the defense budgets, and this number will increase to 400 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.”

“This is unprecedented. This is making NATO stronger. And it shows that this Alliance is adapting, responding when the world is changing,” he continued.

“Thank you for your leadership and your strong commitment to NATO,” Mr. Stoltenberg added.

Despite the progress, President Trump is still pushing other countries to meet their financial standards.

“Some [countries] are way below 1%,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, “and that’s unacceptable. And if something happens, we’re supposed to protect them. And it’s not really fair, and it never has been fair.”

Delinquent countries have to pay up, Trump added, noting, “If they don’t want to, I’ll have to do something with respect to trade. And with trade, I hold all the cards.”

Author: Ben Rogers

Source: The BL: President Trump secures $130 billion in new NATO defense spending, the largest increase in a generation

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