Trump calls on Canada to increase defense spending

In the run-up to next month’s NATO summit, US President Donald Trump once again urged Canada and other members of the Atlantic Alliance to increase defense spending.

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dated June 19, the US president reports “growing frustration in the United States that key allies like Canada have not increased their defense spending as promised.”

The text of the letter was made public by the site iPolitics and a spokesman of the office of the Prime Minister confirmed Saturday to the AFP the existence of the missive.

For the US President, the fact that Canada continues to spend less than 2% of its GDP on defense “compromises the security of the alliance” and reinforces the other members “who do not respect their defense commitments either” “.

NATO members made a commitment in September 2014 to allocate 2% of their GDP to defense.

The US president, who has often complained about the level of military spending by several NATO member states, reiterated that he would demand that this commitment be honored at the NATO summit in Brussels on 11 and 12 July. .

“It will be increasingly difficult to justify to US citizens that some countries continue to fail to meet our collective commitments to collective security,” he writes.

Spokesman for Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, Renée Filiatrault, said Saturday that the Canadian government has made a commitment in 2017 to increase military spending by 70 percent over “Canada’s participation in NATO operations around the world was a tangible sign of its commitment to the transatlantic alliance.”

The letter is being sent in a context of tension between Canada and the United States, following the imposition of US taxes on steel and aluminum imports and Mr. Trump’s attacks on Mr. Trudeau. he had called “dishonest” and “weak” after the G7 summit.

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