President of the European Council Donald Tusk has commented on the recent Donald Trump's statement by saying that the EU and US are "best friends" and that whoever says otherwise — is spreading "fake news."
America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) July 15, 2018
Earlier US President Donald Trump has blasted the EU's trading practices, calling the block a "foe" in an interview with CNS News while spending his holiday at his golf course in Scotland. Trump has blasted the EU's trading practices, calling the bloc a "foe" in an interview with CNS News while spending his holiday at his golf course in Scotland.
"I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn't think of the European Union but they're a foe," Trump said.
He went on to name Russia and China as other "foes," but noted that these countries are not "bad," but rather "competitive," further adding that he respects the leaders of these countries, but criticized them for "taking advantage" of the US in trade. He also recalled that many EU countries do not "pay their bills" as NATO members.
The US president has criticized a number of countries, including its allies in the European Union, for imposing "unfair" tariffs on US goods. Under this pretext, the US imposed harsh tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports — a move that has been slammed by several EU leaders. In June 2018, the EU imposed reciprocal tariffs on US products worth 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion).
Another point of criticism from the US president has been the fact that many NATO allies have failed to meet the targeted 2% of GDP for defense spending. According to Trump, it is "unfair" that the US is paying the most into NATO's budget, while other countries pay less than they should. During the recent NATO summit that took place on 11-12 July, the NATO allies agreed to raise their military spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. Trump, however, was quick to announce a new goal — 4% of GDP, which was later dismissed as excessive by French President Emmanuel Macron.