Jun 7, 2017

Canada to boost defense spending 73%

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Canada's Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan has laid out a plan to ramp up Canada's defense spending by 73% over 10 years, per the Financial Times.

That means Canada will spend about 1.4% of its GDP on defense, closer to the 2% spending requirement for NATO member countries (Canada is now near the back of the pack). U.S. Defense Sec. Mattis said he was "heartened" by the news.

Why this matters: A former official told the FT this should be seen as a "capitulation" to pressure from Trump, as P.M. Justin Trudeau did not campaign on defense increases. But Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said it's because Canada needs "to set our own clear and sovereign course," an indication that Trudeau's government feels Canada can't rely on the U.S. as it once could.

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