President Trump Hosts a Joint Press Conference with the Baltic States Heads of Government
Today. I'm honored to host the, president of Estonia the. President. Of Latvia and the president, of, Lithuania. At the US Baltic. Centennial. Summit. Thank. You all for traveling, to the White House, for. These really important, discussions, we've just spent. A long time together and it was very interesting, this summit proudly, displays, to the world America's deep and lasting. Friendship. With. The Baltic nations, on behalf of the. American, people thank, you very much, and. We are going to have another one hundred-year a very long and, beautiful. Relationship. This is your 100th. Year of Independence. Congratulations. For. Century the United States has stood with the people of the Baltics, in support of their independent. Sovereignty, and self-determination. Through. The decades of brutal Soviet, occupation, the. United, States never. Cease to recognize. The sovereignty of the Baltic. Republics. In, our. Discussions, today I was proud to reaffirm, America's commitment. To the. Wels, declaration, of 1940. And the, u.s. Baltic, charter of 1998. These. Same principles lie, at the heart of America's, approach to world affairs, honoring, the right of peaceful. Citizens. And nations. To protect, their interest, and chart their. Own, wonderful. Destinies. All. Three Baltic republics are, committed, NATO. Allies I want to express our gratitude to, each of your countries for, fulfilling your. Full obligations. And meeting, the. 2%, GDP. Benchmark. For. National, defense this, year your. Commitment, to burden-sharing. Is an example, of really. That other NATO, nations, and partners, all. Around the world will have to all, get together and bear, some. Of them do, not make the, same commitment. Hopefully. They soon will, when. Nations are committed to peace and to security, they. Have to pay their share and, we. Will all enjoy a much. More, safe, and prosperous future. Baltic. Countries are, also. Providing. Security assistance, and training as, part of the coalition, to defeat Isis the. Coalition, has liberated almost, 100, percent of the. Territory once, held by Isis, in Syria and. In. Iraq and we. Will not. Rest until Isis, is gone in. Economic. Matters our cooperation, Kanyon continues. To, develop. And grow as you well know we're. Excited about several, new opportunities. For collaboration, especially. In, science medicine, and technology. Immediately. Following this summit, the. Department, of Commerce and the US, Chamber, of Commerce. Will. Host a u.s. Baltic, Business Summit to expand, a mutual, trade and investment, between our nation's and. They're. All looking forward to seeing you the. Baltic countries remain. A key market for u.s. aircraft automobiles. Machinery, and medical equipment and we, welcome increased, bilateral trade. With. All three nations based, on the principle, of fairness and. Reciprocity. Finally. We are enhancing, our cooperation, on energy security. We're. All collaborating, to, diversify, energy sources, supplies, and, routes. Throughout. The Baltic region including. Expanding, exports, of US, liquefied. Natural gas, of, which you've become a bigger. And bigger user these. Are just some of the many wonderful opportunities we, can seize together. To. All three Baltic leaders with us today, thank. You again for helping to. Celebrate and, this is really a very great. Celebration. Because it's a historic, milestone, our. Friendship, will continue, to grow closer and a cooperation, will continue to, bring. About. The greater security. And prosperity for. Our citizens, and you. Have done terrific. Jobs, as leaders as presidents, of your countries and we. Tell you that for, your citizens we are there for you as we begin the next 100. Years of our partnership, the. Baltic republics can. Trust the United States will remain a strong, proud and loyal. Friend and Ally thank you very much thank, you thank you, very much. Yes. It. Looks so ladies, first. So of course we're very thankful for possibility, to be here especially, not, only because of our anniversary, in our region but because. Of Alliance. Which, we are affirming today with the United States by, adopting. The declaration well, we say that article, 5 is, ironic. Ironclad. For. All of us and the. Collective, defence issues. Important. To all of us and we understand, how important, NATO is for all of us and why, we during. Our discussions. Talked so much about, their. Reforming, further, reforming, NATO, their. Investments. Into our defence their mouths of. Necessary. To, invest into our defence and of. Course together. Where. It is necessary all, of us and Lavinia, is where the United States on, fighting, their terrorist through all the world we, back in Afghanistan we. In Mali we in Central African Republic we, in Kosovo, we Ukraine. Together so, we are partners, allies, and, trustful.
Allies And. Because. Of that we are. Sure that their reforms, of NATO which we are investing together and preparing. Together will, be, result, ative as it was before but especially now because, we see in united, states leadership, we, seeing the willingness of the United States to see different NATO different. Quality, of NATO and I can be probably, open way talk to the president I will joke a little bit joking, about that we. Need leadership, sometimes. For, decision-making, even unpredictable. Leadership to, make enough, leverage and pressure for. The rivals to, believe that we can make a decision and as. We. Seeing this, kind of leadership in present term and this. Is good because, without. The level and pressure, there, will be no additional spendings. In, our defensinator. There will be no additional. Decisions. For rotating, military. Forces or the United States in our countries. There, will be no. Willingness. To look, into the matter of air, defense which we need very much so from, all this point. Of views we, trust that, our partner, and Ally. Is. Investing. Seriously, in future, our defence, not only our, regions but the NATO's, territory, defense and in, the peace and security, of the world as it, was before, of course, the. Businesses. Are coming together ally, in, military. Cooperation in, goes. With Economic Cooperation and, I am very happy there today in our business forum we. Will sign two agreements, with two American, companies on the on, the liquid gas cooperation. Lavinia. Has liquid, gas. Station. And, factory. So-called. Floating. Boat but, we, can be, independent, all three Baltic states on, the gas supply because, of that and this gives us strength, and. Possibility. To make our own decisions not. To depend, on one supplier, and American. A liquid, gas welcomed, on time and. Will, make, us more. Independent. In our decision making and diversifies. Our, gas. Supply and this is about a real friendship. About a real, cooperation. Between our, region, and United States and this comes also together with the trade matters where, today. We see some discussions, on the wealth level. Between, United. States and European, Union we. Together. With the decisions. That the, Train needs to be useful. And equally. Fair to all sides there, is no sense to go to the war but, decisions if there is disbalances, need to be find and this, we, will support as a, layer of United States so. Together. With international obligations, in. Military, together with a cooperation. In economy. With. With. The United States and European Union in solving, the trade. Disputes, and issues we, are standing. With and together, and we, hope that as president, said next, hangar chairs will, be even better, closer. Together. And, we will be able to achieve and make more thank, you thank, you thank, you very much. Dear. Friends. The. Baltic US. President. Summits. Reaffirmed. Our, shared. Commitment. To fundamental, values, our, long. Lasting friendship, and the steadfast. Partnerships. That we have enjoyed. For, nearly a century. The. United States of America, is our closest, friend. And Ally I appreciate. That we hope each. Other's. Mutual. Support. In. Our endeavors. As. Well as in. The security, challenges, we are facing. Today. We. Reflected, on our. Many, achievements and, set a course for our. Future. Undertakings. We. Have agreed, to enhance our, defence, and, security cooperation, the. Baltic States appreciate. The. United, States commitment to deterrence. Policy. In. The Baltic region and, the military assistance, provided. To our forces. We. Will continue. To, commit. 2%, of GDP, towards. The. Development of, our military, capabilities. For, the purposes, of wars. Strengthening. NATO. Posture. In the eastern flank and. Contributing. To international, security. The. Baltic, states. And, the. United States acknowledged. The. Need to, continue, the. Successful. Existing. Cooperation, we, have encountered. Inked. Modern. Day security, threats such. As terrorism. Cyber. And. Informational. Warfare. And, nuclear.
Proliferation. Today. All of us. Committed. To placing, greater. Emphasis on. Advancing. Our economic. And trade and, investment. Relationship. We, recognize great. Potential. In areas, of innovation. Modern. Technologies. And, the digital, economy. And. We. Will explore, possibilities, for, forging, new partnerships, to. Descend I, am, particularly, proud, of successes. Of veteran. Companies, that have generated. More. Than 2,000, jobs. In, the u.s. in Georgia, in North. Carolina. In, California. It's. It. Just shows. How important, is this economic, cooperation. And. Finally. The Baltic States and the, United States agreed. To continue promoting. Closer. People-to-people. Contacts. Because. These. Contacts, are very important, for. Every. Member. Of our, society. Oh, and. Let. Me. Stress. That. President, Trump was. An outstanding. Host. Today. Thanks. For. Hosting. Us, in. This for. Us in. This very important, event. When. We celebrate, 100, years anniversary, of, our, statehood. Thanks. Thank, You. President. Trump my, dear neighbors journalists. I would. Like to thank President Trump, and his administration. For. His, political leadership, in, our region, and for. The very visible commitment which, has been demonstrated through a number of high-level. Visit also, to our, region, this. Year we do celebrate indeed, our, centennial. Anniversary of. These. Hundred years 450, we, were occupied by, the Soviet Union and people. In our country, got up every morning knowing, that there. Are democratic, countries, led. By United, States who. Have never recognized. The occupation, or the Baltic States our. National, flag the, blue black and white was. Waving here in America, throughout, these, years it. Couldn't have been done at that time in, Estonia. It, was hot warming it, was true sign of friendship we. Knew it back then and we remember it and we are still grateful, for it we'll be forever. Today. We agree the Declaration also reminding, us about the foundations, of our relations, my. Friends here spoke a lot about what, we do it's, always worth to remind why we, do this we. Believe that peace security. And prosperity depend, on strong sovereign nations, that, respect their citizens, at home and cooperate, to promote peace abroad.
Our. Partnership. Is based on, principles, of democracy and individual. Liberty, and the rule of law these. Things are extremely, important. Today. We. Stand together. Like-minded. Partners and allies. Yes. Baltic, states are quite small but, they are important, because of, their location, but. Not only because. Of what we do as contributing. Partners to the global security. We. Find it very important, to contribute, in, the counter-terrorist. Fight, we. Find it important, since 2011. To spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. We. Find it extremely important. To remember, that. We stand together and we form something which we call in my office an axis of good, this. Is an axis of good made. Visible for. You all, yes. Estonia, and the United States are very different by the size of their economy but. When we are speaking about digital, economies, then, this doesn't matter anymore. Estonia. Is a. One. Of the world leading. Nations, of digital, governance and our, companies, are working with companies in your country, to, make sure that people elsewhere could benefit, this. Cannot come without cybersecurity. There. Is a nature center of excellence on cybersecurity in, Estonia, because, we have been attacked on cyber long, before anybody else we. Still work together we contribute, and we hope that we are really helpful, to all of our partners yes. We have also more conventional, trade which we do together people. In Walmart going for their pre-ordered packages, in a couple of years will, see them delivered by a stone and made package delivery robots we, are proud of this and we also proud of our legal. Environment, in Estonia, which invites business, to try and test new ideas in. Our place which is tiny and then, upscale when it makes more sense top, scale this, way we work together both, on defence matters, economic, matters and always. Stand on our common value base this is the foundation, of our relations, thank, you for today for, making this visible this axis of good, thank. You very much very much, we'll. Take a few questions. We're going to also have questions specifically, for the Baltics. Steve. Reuters. Thank you mr. president, some. Of your military advisors, are urging, you to keep a contingent, of US troops in syria to, ensure the defeat of Isis, what, is your current thinking on the subject you still want them out and, secondly could you clarify what, you meant about having US military, guard the US border along with Mexico, thank, you sir yeah. The. First, of all the border the, Mexican, border is very, unprotected. By our laws we have horrible. Horrible and. Very unsafe laws in the United States and we're going to be able to do. Something about that hopefully, soon hopefully Congress will get their act together and get in, and create, some, very, powerful laws, like Mexico, has and like Canada has and like almost, all countries if we don't have laws we. Have catch and release you catch and then you immediately release and people, come back years later for a court case except, they virtually, never come back so. What we are preparing. Or the, military to, secure, our border between, Mexico, and the United States we. Have a meeting on it in a little while with general mattis and, everybody. And I think, that it's something we have to do now the caravan, which. Is, over. A thousand, people coming. In from Honduras, thought they were going to just walk right through Mexico, and right through the border as you. Know. NAFTA. Is a phenomenal, deal for Mexico it's been a horrible deal for the United States we're renegotiating it, now but.
It Has been a horrible horrible, embarrassing. Deal for the United States this, should have been terminated or, renegotiated. Many years ago. Mexico. We have a trade deficit, with Mexico of, over a hundred billion dollars a year and. I, told Mexico. Yesterday. That because. Of the fact that their, laws are so strong they, can do things about it that. Hard, to believe the United States can't I said I hope you're gonna tell that Caravan not to get up. To the border and I. Think they're doing that because as of 12 minutes ago it was all being. Broken up we'll, see what happens, but, we have to have strong borders we, need the wall we've started building the wall as you know we have a billion six toward building, the wall and fixing, existing, wall that's falling down or was never appropriate in the first place and that's, very, important, as far as serious, concerned, our. Primary. Mission in, terms of, that. Was, getting. Rid of Isis we've almost completed that task and will, be making a decision very quickly in coordination, with others, in the area as. To what we'll do Saudi Arabia, is. Very. Interested, in our decision, and. I said well you know you want us to say maybe you're gonna have to pay but. A lot of people you know we do a lot of things in this country we do them for. We. Do. Them for a lot of reasons, but. It's very costly for our country and it. Helps other countries, a hell, of a lot more than it helps us so. We're going to be making a decision we've had a tremendous. Military. Success, against, Isis as you know it's close to a hundred percent as I just said and we'll, be making a decision as to, what, we do in. The very near future will, be consulting, also, with the, groups of our people and groups of our allies, to. Pull the troops out say. You're you're inclined to pull the troops out I want, to get out I want to bring our troops back home I want to start rebuilding our, nation, we. Will have as of three months ago seven. Trillion, dollars, in, the. Middle East over the last 17. Years, we. Get nothing nothing. Out of it nothing, and, as. You. Remember in civilian life for years I said keep the oil I was always saying keep the oil we didn't keep the oil who, got the oil was Isis got the oil a lot of it that's what funded, their campaigns. They took a lot of the oil and it was, largely, responsible for, fun and we should have kept the oil then we didn't keep the oil so. I want to get back I want to rebuild our nation, think. Of it seven trillion dollars, over a 17, year period we have nothing nothing. Except death and destruction. It's. A horrible thing so. It's, time it's. Time we were very successful against. Isis we'll be successful against, anybody, militarily. But. Sometimes. It's time. To come back home and we're. Thinking about that very seriously okay thank you. The. Three literary, nian television mr.. President not not about getting out but getting in the. The joint declaration mentions. The, periodic. American deployments, in the Baltic countries what. Specifically, can you commit, to having heard the, requests. And wishes of the Baltic States, and. President. You have mentioned Russia. As a terrorist, state did, you have a meeting, of minds here, as to the threat that Russia, poses to. The neighboring countries thank you well. We have a very strong relationship as, the presidents, will tell you with. The Baltic States and we. Are with them we're. Friends and we're allies and, we. Are going, to have a long-term very, fine relationship, in addition we do business on trade we work very hard on, security, together. Surprisingly. Large. Numbers, of trade. These. Are very industrious. Nations, now. You're from there so you know exactly what I'm talking about these are tremendous. People and very. Very industrious, we do a lot of business Andre thank you thank you very much, second. Part of your question of, course interesting. Especially, because we didn't talk to in that, words. About. The. Rival, especially. In our border, but then, country, behaves aggressively. Performs. Wars. Threatens. With nuclear, missiles on, your, border of course you, sometimes, call this country not. Very friend 'full that's, why. We, investing. Into our defense we, investing, into our security we, investing, into reforming, NATO and we, would like to see strong, NATO. Strong. Alliance, and that's, what we are going to do together.
Mr.. Trump speaking. About economy. About economic, cooperation. With. My country with Latvia. What, is your message, for investors. In Latvia, and, what. Is what. Is your. Opinion about the investment. In Latvia, I think, all three would be great places to invest. Stable. Governments incredible. People hardworking. Industrious people, I think. There would be great places to invest I would have no problem. With it although I think as a president, of the United States they would call it a slight, conflict of interest perhaps you, might be hearing from these people no I think it would be a great. Place I think all three would be a great place to invest okay, thank, you Thank You. Murray. And roham estonian, public broadcasting. First a question to President Trump as. Said. The concern, of the Baltic states is Russia, and before. The press conference you, also said that at. The same time good. Relationship, with Russia is not bad but. How are you going to deal with President. Vladimir Putin is. He. As your, enemy, or someone, you can have dialogue with and, the, second question is to our president. Gets to call you light is. The, defence of the Baltic States enough or should. There be something more for, example air, defense, systems thank, you well. I think we'll be able to have great dialogue, I hope and if we can't you'll be the first to know about it nobody's, been tougher, on Russia than I have and you. Can and I know you're nodding yes because everyone, agrees when they think. About it strong, energy the, United States my, opponent, was into, other, forms, of energy like windmills. Where. We're. Very strong, on energy were. Essentially. Now energy, independent, we're an exporter, of energy that. Is not a positive for Russia. But. It's certainly a positive for the United States we, just passed a 700. Billion dollar military budget, next year 716, billion dollars the largest-ever past we. Are going to have a military stronger, than we've ever had before by, far and. That's not exactly a great. Thing for Russia. But. That's the way it is we're gonna have the strongest military that, we ever had NATO. NATO. Was delinquent they were not, paying their bills they were not paying a lot of states as we discussed, they. Were not they. Were not paying what they should be paying since. I came in many. Many billions of dollars additional have, been paid by countries that weren't paying and now they're paying and. They. Will have to pay more frankly, if they're gonna have to pay more so. There are many things that. I've. Done and not only the 60, diplomats. Germany, did for France, did for we. Did 60 there's. Nobody, been, tougher. On Russia, and with that being said I think I could have a very. Good relationship with President Putin I think it's. Possible I won't and you will know about it believe, me this room will know about it before. I know about it it's. A real possibility, that I could have a good relationship, and remember. This getting. Along with Russia is a good thing getting along with China is a good thing getting. Along with other countries including, your three countries is a good thing not a bad thing so. I think I could have a very good relationship with Russia and with. President, Putin and if I did that would be a great thing and there's, also a great possibility that, that won't happen, who.
Knows, Okay. Thank. You okay. If. I may marry on if I would also like to contribute, a little bit to your first question as I reminded, you all we could trust the judgment of the United States administration's. And people even while we were occupied, we, could trust your judgment, when we regained, independence and, seek membership of, NATO for, example, we, could because, we own a common, foundation you. Can walk around the mall and read it's all written there this foundation our compass, for both and therefore, I trust the judgment of President Trump and his administration on, that matter - now, on your concrete question on, or, near defense yes we did discuss the. Deterrence. Capacity, necessary. To make sure that our deterrence. Is believable. To, everybody, who might want to cushion it but, you know equal, partners don't come to talk to each other this way that I come, here to Washington to ask for these of freedom or I come here to ask for let's say may have support me for this or for that we, analyze situation, together and we find the solutions, together which, will work for us all together because we are in it all together we, are contribute, as equal contributors, according. To our size to this process. Of guaranteeing, our security, thank you okay. Summit. We discuss. Security. Issues, in our region, with. President, Trump and I. Am. Sure that, this. Discussion. Will help a, lot. To. Continue, any political. Dialogue, with. Our, Eastern. Neighbor. Russia. Pick. A reporter, please. You. Could pick a reporter, a Baltic, reporter ideally. Real. News not fake news god. You. Want to pick I think we have anything do we have enough yes go. Ahead pick mr.. President. Pick a reporter, from the Baltics, not. The same man he was very, tough, go ahead pick a reporter. Yes. Go ahead yes. Hi. My name is Arnold I'm from, Latvia. So, I have a question for our, president, from Latvia you're going to San Francisco after your. Meeting here in Washington and, you're, meeting some people. Who are making. Business, connections, from Latvia and the US do, you see any any, certain. Outcomes, out, of that thank, you, first. Of all I think during our summit. I will repeat, again that. We discussed, how we can strengthen our economic, cooperation, between. Baltic. States. And the. US, and. Of course my visit to, California. To. Silicon, Valley will. Give, I think good. Basis. For for. Better. Understanding. What. Our business, people need, to. Be presented, here, and what, I can. Help how, I can help them. To. Be here because anyway, I think, all, these cooperations. Between, Baltic. States business people and US, business. People is very important, for our societies. For, our business. Societies. And. As I said we. Are thinking, not only about, investments. In our country, and we are trying. To. Make. Better. Environment. For investments. In, our country. But also our. Business, people are invested. Here. And I. Think, it is important, for both countries for Latvia and for your for, the US. Include. By saying that I'm very impressed with these three, great. Baltic, nations, and these. Three great, presidents. Thank you very much for being here thank you everybody.