BAE Chairman Backs Trump on Push for More NATO Military Spending

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump’s pressure on NATO states to lift military spending is a providing a welcome boost for BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s biggest defense manufacturer, according to its chairman.

“Trump is undoubtedly committed to the military,” BAE’s Roger Carr told Bloomberg TV Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “He’s giving the right sort of encouragement to NATO’

s membership, which is clearly good for BAE business.”

The London-based maker of Eurofighter warplanes and frigates has pursued new markets to cope with a weapons-spending downturn since the global recession and troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump has been pushing NATO members to honor commitments to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on armaments, something Carr said is “also good for the defense of the West.”

At the same time, Carr said Trump should temper his “America First” agenda while attending the economic summit on Wednesday, where he will be the first U.S. president to visit since Bill Clinton in 2000.

“The American message is clearly his core message but America is vital in terms of the world economy,” Carr said. “I hope he’ll be able to share with everybody here a sense that he is first and foremost for America but he has an eye to the rest of the world as well.”

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