Trump put America first while in Europe

Apparently, putting America first is offensive and should not be done in polite circles of the establishment.

President Trump thinks the members of NATO should actually pay their fair share, which makes Europe upset. That, in turn, gives the left yet another reason to pile on Trump.

According to their self-imposed guidelines, each of the 28 member nations should spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Only five members currently meet that threshold.

Germany — whose feathers seem the most ruffled at the moment — only pays 1.2 percent. So, is the left’s problem with Trump or with all the NATO leaders who decided on the 2 percent figure? Having the goal is useless if a member can’t even call into question another member’s (or 23 other members's) failure to meet it during times of highly tense national security across the globe.

Furthermore, critics charge that Trump did not spend enough time emphasizing the United States’s commitment to NATO while addressing the summit, instead focusing too much on terrorism and how NATO should be more responsive to it. For some reason, this too was made into a problem.

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Maybe that’s because Europe’s approach to the disaster in Syria, for example, is to deal with the refugees — a laudable cause, of course. But one of the major themes of Trump’s winning campaign, which he did an excellent job of highlighting during his trip, is to prevent people from becoming refugees in the first place. Put more emphasis on fighting ISIS and hammering out peace rather than dealing with the human by-product. Rather than expending all our resources on welcoming immigrants, give them a reason to stay and rebuild their home country.

 

Another concern is that Trump has not embraced the Paris climate accord — the comprehensive treaty so bad that Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary George Conway: 'If Barack Obama had done this' Republicans would be 'out for blood' George Conway to take part in MSNBC impeachment hearing coverage MORE didn’t even bother trying to get it through the Senate. Obama instead opted for an end-around through executive orders. Now, strangely, our European friends hope Trump will do the same because U.S. businesses would have a competitive advantage once they are unshackled from the bureaucratic red tape that they will have.

Finally, there’s the multi-national trade agreement with the European Union. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership was so unpopular that neither Trump nor Clinton supported it.

Europe — like the American left — needs to quit pouting. The EU should address its own problems, like how to cut the red tape and restore a pro-business, pro-jobs economy; how to reduce the bureaucracy that caused Brexit; how to deal with the refugee crisis; and, above all, how to prevent terrorism.

The EU is falling under its own self-imposed chains. Our 45th president wants to avoid that fate for America, which is why he didn't spend his first trip abroad apologizing. Instead, he stuck with putting America first, but not at Europe's expense. In fact, his theme was that European countries should do the same and, in doing so, we'll all be stronger together to tackle our mutual global interests.

As White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday, Europe seems at least in part to be listening. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech at the beer hall shortly after the G-7 summit, where she said ”Europe must take its fate into its own hands,” is exactly what President Trump — and Candidate Trump — has called for.

“The president is getting results, and more countries are stepping up their burden-sharing,” Spicer said. “That is a good thing for them, it's a good thing for NATO and it's a good thing for America.”

Jack Kingston (@JackKingston) is a former Republican congressman for Georgia’s 1st District and former advisor to President Trump’s campaign. He currently serves as chairman of the Georgia Republican Party Foundation and is a principal at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs.


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