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Tusk: Dear America, Appreciate Your Allies, After All You Don't Have That Many

Tusk: Dear America, Appreciate Your Allies, After All You Don't Have That Many

US President Donald Trump is set to meet other Nato leaders for potentially fractious talks at a summit in Brussels Wednesday 11 July, the BBC reports.

Ahead of his visit, Trump hit out at the EU on trade and at his Nato allies for failing to spend enough on defence. He was met with a sharp rebuke from European Council President Donald Tusk, who accused the president of criticising Europe "almost daily".

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many." Tusk added that the EU spent more than Russia on defence, and as much as China.

He said the US did not and would not have a better ally than the EU, reminding the president that European troops had also fought and died in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

For his part, President Trump predicted that the Nato meeting could be harder than his summit with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, in Finland next Monday.

President Trump has said the US is being "taken advantage of" by other members of the Nato alliance, which was set up in 1949 to counter the Soviet Union, of which Russia is the main successor state.

His main objection is that all but a handful of member states have still not increased their defence budgets to meet a goal of spending at least 2% of their annual economic output on defence by 2024.

Trump has linked the issue of US military spending to the EU's trade surplus with the US, complaining that the bloc "makes it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe" and then "want us to happily defend them through Nato".

The EU is America's biggest export market, taking $501bn (£378bn) in goods and services in 2016, the latest year recorded by the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The trade office's figures say US imports from the EU rang in at $592bn- leaving a $91bn goods and services trade deficit.

Last month, the US raised fears of a trade war by slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada, Mexico and other US allies. The EU hit back with tariffs on products including motorcycles and orange juice.

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