2017 tax reform reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
In 2017, ex-President Donald Trump’s tax reform decreased the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
On Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jans Stoltenberg stated that those who did not meet their defense spending goals are putting our security at risk.
During a campaign rally on Saturday, Trump shared an anecdote about a conversation he had with a NATO member regarding his stance on defending allies who fail to meet defense spending goals against an attacker.
“I refuse to defend you if you haven’t paid your bills. Instead, I would actually urge others to do whatever they please. It’s imperative that you pay your bills.” These were the words Mr. Trump recalled saying.
A minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is required for defense spending in order to maintain military readiness. Based on 2023 data from NATO, 19 out of 30 member countries are not meeting this requirement, although most nations near Ukraine, Russia, or Russian ally Belarus are exceeding the 2% GDP mark for defense spending.
Finland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all spend between 2.3% and 2.7% of their GDP on defense, while Poland spends over 3.9%.
According to data from NATO, the United States allocated 3.49% of its GDP towards defense spending in the year 2023.
President Biden expressed strong disapproval of Trump’s statement, stating that it is alarming and risky for him to give Putin permission to escalate conflict and violence, further attack a sovereign Ukraine, and potentially target Poland and the Baltic states.
On Monday, the European Union’s chief of foreign policy, Josep Borrell, stated that NATO cannot function as a pick-and-choose military alliance, dependent on the changing moods of the U.S. president.
Pawel Zalewski, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, expressed concern over Mr. Trump’s remarks.
Zalewski, speaking to POLITICO, expressed confusion over the statement calling for increased defense spending by member countries and also urging Russia to attack.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said in a statement on social media that, “the Transatlantic Alliance has underpinned the security and the prosperity of Americans, Canadians and Europeans for 75 years. Reckless statements on NATO’s security and Art 5 solidarity serve only Putin’s interest. They do not bring more security or peace to the world.” Michel said that such remarks “reemphasize the need for the EU to urgently further develop its strategic autonomy and invest in its defense. And keep our alliance strong.”