President Trump is to renew a push to get ally countries to pay a higher premium for having American troops on their soil, according to reports.
Trump’s White House is drafting a new plan labeled “Cost Plus 50”, which will see countries like Germany and Japan paying the current full price for U.S. troops, plus 50 percent or more.
Bloomberg reports that over a dozen administration officials have said the plan is to be rolled out imminently.
The move is a reaction to claims that NATO countries are not paying their fair share in defense spending compared to the United States.
During a speech at the Pentagon in January, Trump stated that “Wealthy, wealthy countries that we’re protecting are all under notice… We cannot be the fools for others.”
Trump noted, during the speech, that some countries were willing to pay more to the U.S., but that they had never been asked before. “Now we’re asking.” Trump stated.
The President has consistently raised the issue.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
In recent negotiations with South Korea, which hosts 28,000 U.S. troops, Trump insisted, going against the advice of his staff, in a note to National Security Advisor John Bolton “We want cost plus 50.”
The Bloomberg report notes:
Current and former administration officials briefed on the idea, who asked not to be identified discussing the program, describe it as far more advanced than is publicly known. As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the U.S. demands overseas.
According to the sources, there may be discounts for countries whose policies align with the U.S. government’s.
National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis noted that “Getting allies to increase their investment in our collective defense and ensure fairer burden-sharing has been a long-standing U.S. goal.”
“The administration is committed to getting the best deal for the American people elsewhere too but will not comment on any ongoing deliberations regarding specific ideas.” Marquis added.