Tags: ric grenell | germany | nato | allied defense spending | eu

Ric Grenell: Trump's NATO Pressure a 'Pro-Europe Position'

(Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures")

By    |   Sunday, 08 July 2018 03:27 PM

President Donald Trump's pressing of European NATO countries to spend their promised 2 percent of GDP spending "is a very pro-Europe position," according to U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell.

"This is a very important issue for the readiness of NATO, for the readiness of Europe," Grenell told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" "It is a very pro-Europe position to ask countries in Europe, specifically Germany, to increase their defense spending. This is going to create a stronger transatlantic alliance.

"This is very pro-Europe – and, currently, the Germans don't spend enough."

Grenell is "the highest ranking openly gay official in any Republican administration in American history," according to Fox News.

He told fill-in host Blake Burman the current plan to get Germany defense spending up to 1.5 percent by 2024 falls short of the 2104 "Wales pledge" to commit up to 2 percent of GDP by 2024.

"So, what we are doing is urging the Germans to keep their commitment and other countries to keep their commitments to that NATO pledge, increase NATO spending by 2024," Grenell told Burman. "That's the commitment that they made. And although steps have been made, more needs to be done to keep that 2 percent commitment."

Grenell's comments came days before President Trump will attend the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, this week.

As for tariffs and Germany, a particularly powerful automobile-making and exporting country, Trump's tariffs are threatened with the goal of reciprocity – a truly tariff-free trade.

"The facts are, Blake, that the E.U. puts 10 percent tariffs on us, and we have a 2.5 percent tariff on them when it comes to autos – so, of course, they want to continue this process," Grenell told Burman. "They want the status quo…

"What we're trying to do is create some momentum. We're talking to the government of Germany and the auto industry in Germany to try to see if there's a path forward for zero percent tariffs.

"We don't know if there is. But what we're trying to do is get the facts, talk to the industry, talk to the German government, which, obviously, this issue is all about the E.U. But what we're trying to do here in Berlin is create some momentum, create some good news that could surround this E.U. trade deal.

"And we think that the car industries are a huge part of this. I'm working very closely with [Commerce] Secretary [Wilbur] Ross and those at the White House, [Trade Adviser] Peter Navarro and others, to try to make sure that we get as much information from these industries to see if we can create a little momentum for the EU trade deal."

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President Donald Trump's pressing of European NATO countries to spend their promised 2 percent of GDP spending "is a very pro-Europe position," according to U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell. "This is a very important issue for the readiness of NATO, for the readiness...
ric grenell, germany, nato, allied defense spending, eu
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2018-27-08
Sunday, 08 July 2018 03:27 PM
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