European Council President: US 'won't have a better ally' than EU

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And it could help promote acceptance of Trump's accurate assertion that the United States and the West must deal with reemergent Russia-despite the prevailing narrative that Trump is Putin's lapdog, which the mainstream media use to try driving Trump from office.

Questions linger about a potential trade war with the EU.

According to an internal European Union memo obtained by Bloomberg and using BEA figures, when including trade in goods, trade in services and primary income from investments, the US has a 12 billion-euro surplus with the EU.

"They're going 'Will President Trump be prepared, you know, President Putin is KGB and this and that, '" Trump said at a rally last week in Montana.

Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defence, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility.

But a Europe that better defends itself and buys more American gas gives Trump another advantage because it makes Europe more resilient militarily and less dependent on Russian gas. This is especially valued now, given their own deep internal divisions, which are magnified by the rot in democratic practice in some countries and the damage being done to security and the future of the European Union and Western security caused by Brexit. Instead, a series of events _ a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II _ will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

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They agreed to be "guided" by "considerations" to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024.

But in March, NATO said that only four nations met that guideline in 2017: the USA (3.57 percent), Greece (2.36 percent), Britain (2.12 percent) and Estonia (2.08 percent). Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security have pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

"Getting ready to leave for Europe". Trump said Johnson had been "very nice" and "very supportive". The previous, less generous military budget proposal was strongly opposed by Ursula von der Leyen: she criticized it for being inadequate and pointed out the insufficient financing earmarked for the country's military forces, the Bundesweher.

A country's defense contribution shouldn't be measured only as a percentage of GDP, but also in terms of troops and hardware, she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Berlin.

"I really can't say right now", Trump said.

The US president flies to Brussels tomorrow for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, before travelling to the United Kingdom on Thursday for a four-day visit.

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