INTERNATIONAL

U.S. to cut spending on NATO budget, Germany to pay more

The U.S. is to cut its contribution to NATO’s operating budget, officials said on Thursday, with Germany increasing payments as the alliance tries to appease President Donald Trump ahead of a summit next week.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticised European members for freeloading on the U.S., singling out Germany — the continent’s economic powerhouse — for lagging behind on an alliance commitment to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.

While most of Mr. Trump’s anger has been focused on European national defence budgets, American officials have also grumbled about how much Washington contributes to NATO’s running costs. “Under the new formula, cost shares attributed to most European allies and Canada will go up, while the US share will come down,” a NATO official said.

Washington currently pays 22.1% of the NATO budget — which totalled $2.5 billion in 2019 — and Germany 14.8%, under a formula based on each country’s gross national income.

Under the new agreement, the U.S. will cut its contribution to 16.35% of the total, Germany’s will rise to the same level and other allies will pay more.