President Trump and the First Lady are set to travel to the United Kingdom to meet with NATO counterparts in December, according to the White House.
The White House press office released the statement on Friday saying,
“President Trump looks forward to meeting with the other NATO Heads of State and government to review the Alliance’s unprecedented progress on burden-sharing, including adding more than $100 billion in new defense spending since 2016. “
The statement continues, “The President will also emphasize the need
for the NATO Alliance to ensure its readiness for the threats of tomorrow, including those emanating from cyberspace, those affecting our critical infrastructure and telecommunications networks, and those posed by terrorism.”
Both the president and First Lady will travel to the United Kingdom to take part in the NATO Leaders Meeting from December 2nd to December 4th.
The announcement comes just one day after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised President Trump for the American role within the alliance while visiting the White House.
Stoltenberg also mentioned he hopes to continue the momentum surrounding the pact’s increased defense spending, in an effort to reach the partnership’s 2% standard.
President Trump has made it key objective in his presidency to entice
his NATO counterparts to spend their fair share within the defense partnership.
Though only six countries, not including the United States, met the 2% funding threshold required by the treaty in 2018, nearly all of the nations have heightened defense spending since President Trump took office.
Some reports suggest President Trump has made it clear he would consider leaving the bloc if the other members do not step up to the plate.
And according to official NATO data, it looks like that rumored threat has worked.
Nearly all nations within the alliance have increased how much funding they allocate to the alliance since the president rewrote the precedent abroad.
Twenty-seven of the 29 nations have increased defense spending between 2016 and 2018.
Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania all reached the 2% threshold in 2018, and at least 16 of the member nations are projected to reach the 2% goal by 2024.