Currently, only five countries - Britain, Estonia, Greece, Latvia and the U.S. - meet that standard.While any defense buildup would include an array of costs, such as paying for more troops and construction of military installations, some of the increased spending would likely go toward munitions, fighter jets, missiles and missile defense systems.The U.S.is already the world's biggest arms exporter, at 34 percent of the global total from 2013 to 2017.
"The problem is Trump seems to really see no benefit that allies provide the United States", says James Goldgeier, visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
During a tense summit, the businessman announced his wish that all 29 member nations should increase spending to two per cent immediately, and eventually double that to four per cent of GDP.
Following an emergency session at the alliance headquarters in Brussels to discuss his demands, Mr Trump said he had made it clear that he was "extremely unhappy" with what had been on the table so far.
"Some are at 2 per cent, others have agreed definitely to go to 2 per cent, and some are going back to get the approval, and which they will get to go to 2 per cent", he said.
Hours later, he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met privately and discussed the pipeline, each reaffirming the partnership between the US and Germany. But with Trump scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation on Monday, the gathering was dominated by wrangling over money. Trump also prepared to make a previously unscheduled public statement, the White House said.
A new poll shows that a plurality of Germans favor a drawdown of US troops, and only 15 percent believe that Germany should raise its defense spending to 2 percent of GDP.
Trump had kicked off the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at breakfast with the organization's leader on Wednesday by accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" and "captive to Russia" because of a pipeline deal that would bring gas directly between the two nations. Trump has repeatedly denounced low levels of defense spending among remaining members, particularly Germany. In reality, 50% to 75% of Germany's natural-gas imports come from Russian Federation, and gas makes up less than 20% of Germany's overall energy mix. "Indeed, we're increasing it by 70 per cent over the next decade", Trudeau said.
"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route".
On the United States president's claim that Germany was "captive" to Russian Federation, an unhappy German Chancellor Merkel countered with recollections of her own experience of living in Soviet-controlled East Germany.
Another official told NBC that the conversations were aimed at "reinforcing alliance commitments" after Trump had "made it clear alliance commitments were on the table".
"The fact is that we have a commitment to increase defense spending".
"I've taken over a lot of bad hands and I'm fixing each one of them, and I'm fixing them well", Trump said during a hastily called press conference Thursday.
TRUMP: "One of the states we won, Wisconsin _ I didn't even realize this until fairly recently - that was the one state that Ronald Reagan didn't win when he ran the board his second time".
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.