President Baltic States Joint News Conference CSPAN April 3, 2018 1:48pm-2:21pm EDT
>> a live picture from the white house as we await the start of a press briefing with president trump as he meets with baltic leaders today. cnn has reported that the hasident declared nobody come to the white house before as tension between the russia and the united states has ratcheted up in recent -- and recent weight.
he says getting along with russia is a good thing and not about thing. here comes the president. >> thank you. honored to host the president of estonia, the president of latvia, and the president of lithuania at the u.s. baltic center any own summit. thank you all for traveling to the white house for these really important discussions we have just spent a long time together and it was very interesting. the summit proudly displayed to the world america's deep and lasting friendship with baltic nations. on behalf of the american people, thank you very much. anotherre going to have 100 year, very long and beautiful relationship. this is your 100 year of independence, congratulations.
for a 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 ceased to recognize the sovereignty of the baltic republics. in our discussions today, i was proud to reaffirm america's commitment to the wells 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 rights of peaceful citizens and nations to protect their interest and chart their own wonderful destinies. all three baltic republics are committed nato allies and i want to express our gratitude to each of your countries for fulfilling your full obligations and benchmark for gdp national defense this year. your commitment to burden
sharing is an example 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 security, they have to pay their share and we will all enjoy a much more safe and prosperous future. are alsountries providing security assistance and training as heart of the coalition to defeat isis. the coalition has liberated almost 100% 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 continues to develop and grow, as you well know.
we are excited about several new opportunities for collaboration especially in science, medicine, and technology. immediately following this summit, the department of commerce and the u.s. chamber of commerce will host a u.s. -- baltic business commerce to promote business between our nations. and they are all looking forward to seeing you. the baltic countries remain a key market for automobiles welcomeequipment and we increased bilateral trade with all three nations based on the principle of fairness and reciprocity. finally, we are advancing our cooperation on energy security. toare all collaborating diversify energy sources, supplies, and routes throughout the baltic region including expanding exports from the u.s. of liquefied natural gas of which you have 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 a very great celebration because it's a historic milestone. our friendship will continue to grow closer and our cooperation the continue to bring about greater security and prosperity for our citizens. you have done terrific leaders and presidents of your countries. 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 and proud and loyal friend and ally, thank you very much. thank you very much. probably it's my turn. >> ladies first.
>> i'm very thankful for the possibility to be here not only because of the investment in our region but because of the alliance which we form with the united states by a documented declaration. ironclad agreement from all of us and a collective defense issue is defense -- is important to all of us and we understand how important nato is to all of us. and that is why we talked so , theirout reforming nato investments and defense, the amount necessary to invest in our defense and, of course, to together we continue to fight terrorists through the world.
we are partners, allies. the reforms of nato which we are investing together and preparing a result likebe before but especially now because we see the united states leadership, we see the willingness of the united states to a different nato, a different quality of nato and it's probably open. we were joking a little about that we need leadership sometimes for decision making to make enough leverage and pressure for rivals to believe that we can make a decision. of -- we see kind this kind of leadership in president trump. without the leverage and pressure, there will be no additional spending in our defense, in nato, there will be
no additional decisions for rotating military forces in our countries. there will be no willingness to look into the matter of defense which we need very much. all these point of views we trust that our partner and ally is investing seriously in the future of our defense not only our regions but nato territory defense and the peace and security as it was before. of course, businesses are coming together. allies and military cooperation and economic operations and i am happy that today in our business forum, we will sign to agreements with two american companies on the liquid gas corporation. we have a liquid gas station and factory. it's a so-called floating boat but we can be independent on the
gas supply because of that and the gives us strength. and the possibility to make her own decisions, not to depend on one supplier and american liquid gas will come on time and will make us more independent and our decision-making and diversify our gas supply. friendshiput a real about a real corporation. today, we see some discussions on the wealth level. between the united states and the european union. decisions thate the trade needs to be useful and equal to all sides. there's docents to go past the rules. the rules need to be defined in this we will support as an ally of the united states.
together with international obligations and military and together with corporations and economy and together with the united states and the european union in solving trade, we are standing with an together and we hope, as the president said, nato will be even better, closer, together and we will be able to achieve and make more, thank you. >> thank you very much, please. my esteemed colleagues and president trump and dear friends, the baltic -- u.s. presidential summit reaffirmed our commitment to fundamental values. our long-lasting friendship remains steadfast partnership that we have enjoyed for nearly a century. is united states of america our closest friend and ally. i appreciate that we help each
other's mutual support and endeavors as well as security telling us -- the challenges we are facing. to date we reflected on our many achievements and set a course for our future undertakings. we have agreed to enhance our defense and security cooperation. the baltic states appreciate the united states commitment to regionnce in the baltic and the military assistance provided forces. 2% ofl continue to commit gdp toward the development of our military capability for the purpose of strengthening nato in the eastern flank and
contributing to international security. the baltic state and the united states has egg knowledge need to continue the successful existing corporation we have encountered in modern-day security threats such as terrorism, cyber information warfare, and nuclear operation. today, all of us committed to oncing greater emphasis advancing economic and trade and investment relationships. we recognize great potential and areas of innovation, modern technologies, and a digital economy. we will explore possibilities for forging new partnerships to descend.
i am particularly proud of successes of companies that than 2000 jobs in the u.s., in georgia, in north carolina, in california. it shows how important this economic corporation. the baltic states and the united states agreed to continue promoting people to people contacts because these contacts are important for every member of our society. stress that president outstanding cost today thanks for hosting us --
an outstanding host did a. thanks for hosting us in this very important event when we celebrate 100 year anniversary of our statehood. pres. trump: thank you. trump, i would like to thank president trump and his administration for his political leadership. and for the commitment which has been demonstrated through a number of high-level visits to our region. this year, we celebrate, indeed, our centennial anniversary. of these 100 years, we were occupied by the soviet union. and people and our country got up every morning knowing that our democratic countries, led by neverited states who have recognized the occupation of the baltic states, our national
flag, the blue, black, and white, was waiting here in america throughout these years. it could not have been done at that time in estonia. it was heartwarming. it was a sign of friendship to we knew it back then and we remember it and we are still grateful for it we will be forever. today, we agreed the declaration, reminding us about the foundations of our relation. my friends spoke a lot about what we do. reminding why we do this. we believe peace, security, and prosperity depend on strong sovereign nations. with respect to citizens and 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. together,stand 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 they do as contributing partners to global security. we find it important to contribute in the counterterrorism fight. to spend 2%mportant of gdp on defense. we find it extremely important standember that we together and we form something which we call in my office, and access of god. this is an access of god. estonia and the united states are very different by the size of their economy. but when we are speaking about digital economies, this doesn't matter anymore. estonia is one of the world's leading nations of digital governments. our companies are working with companies in your country to make sure that people elsewhere can benefit. this cannot come without cyber security. -- we have been attacked on
cyber come along before anybody else. we still work together appeared we contribute, and we hope we are really helpful toward -- to all of our partners p yes, we have more conventional trade which we do together. going for their pre-ordered packages in a couple of years will see them delivered packages we are proud of this and we are proud of our it legal environment in estonia which invites business to try and test new ideas. morepscale when it makes sense to upscale. this way, we work together on defense matters can economic matters, and always stand on a common value base. this is the foundation of our relation. thank you for today. i give for making this visible. pres. trump: thank you very much. will take a few questions. we will also have questions specifically for the baltics. steve?
>> thank you, mr. president. something admit his -- advisors are urging her to keep troops in syria to urge the defeat of isis. do you still want them out? could you clarify what you meant about having u.s. military guard the u.s. border along with mexico? thank you, sir. pres. trump: first of all, the border, the mexican border is very unprotected by our laws. we have horrible and very unsafe laws in the united states. we will be able to do something about that hopefully soon. hopefully congress will get their act together and get in and create very powerful laws. like mexico has to and like canada has, and like almost all countries have. we don't have laws to we have catch and release. you catch a new release. people come back years later for a court case except they virtually never come back.
what we are preparing for, the military to secure our border, to mexico in the united states, we have a meeting on it in a while with general mattis and everybody. i think it is something we have to do. the caravan, which is over 1000 people, coming in from under his, thought they were going to walk through mexico and right through the border. nafta is a, phenomenal deal for mexico. it has been a horrible deal for the united states we are renegotiating arena. it has been a horrible, embarrassing deal for the united states. this should have been terminated or renegotiated many years ago. deficitwe have a trade with mexico of over $100 billion a year. i told mexico yesterday that because of the fact that their laws are so strong, they can do things about it. hard to believe the united states can't. i said, i hope you will tell that caravan not to get up to the border. i think they are doing that.
as of 12 minutes ago, it was all being broken
up. we will see what happens. but we have to have strong borders. we need the wall. we have started building the wall. we have one billion -- $1 billion toward fixing the wall that is falling down it was never appropriated in the first place. concerned,yria is our primary mission in terms of of isis petting rid have almost completed that task. we will be making a decision quickly. in correlation with others in the area. as to what we will do. saudi arabia, is very interested in our decision. said, you want us to stay, maybe you will have to pay. we do a lot of people in this country. we do them for -- we do them for a lot of reasons. it is very costly for our country. it helps other countries a hell of a lot more than it helps us.
we are going to be making a decision. tremendous a military success against isis, as you know. hundred percent as i just said. we will be making a decision as to what we do. withll be consulting also groups of our people and groups of our allies. >> are you inclined to pull the troops
out? pres. trump: i want to get out. i want to bring our troops home. i want to rebuild our nation. we will have as of three months ago $7 trillion in the middle east over the last 17 years. nothing. nothing out of it. nothing. , for years, ir said keep the oil. we didn't keep the oil. cool got the oil? who got the oil?
isis got the oil we didn't keep the oil. i want to get back and i want to rebuild our name -- our nation. $7 trillion over a 17 year period. we have nothing except debt and distraction. it is a horrible thing. it is time. we were very successful against isis p we will be successful against anyone militarily. sometimes it is time to come back home. we are thinking about that very seriously. thank you. >> mr. president, what about getting out -- but getting in? the joint declaration mentions that the american deployment in the baltic countries, what specifically can you commit to having heard the request and the baltic states?
russia as ad terrorist state. did you have a meeting of mind here as to the threat that russia poses to the neighboring countries? thank you. pres. trump: we have a very strong relationship, as a presidents will tell you. with the baltic states. we are with them. we are friends and allies. we are going to have a long-term very fine relationship. in addition, we do business entree. we work very hard on security together. numbers ofy, large trade -- these are very industrious nations, you are from there, so you know what i am talking about. these are tremendous people. and very industrious. we do a lot of business on trade. thank you. thank you very much. >> the second part of your question, interesting, especially because we did not about the rival. especially on our border.
the country behaves aggressively, performs wars, you sometimes call this country not fruitful. that is why. our security. we are investing into forming me know. we would like to see strong nato. strong alliance. that is what we are going to do together. pres. trump: thank you. would you like to choose somebody? >> your turn. >> mr. trump, speaking about the economy and the economic corporations, with my country, what is the message for investors? what is your opinion about the investment? pres. trump: i think all three
would be great places to invest. stable governments, incredible people. hard-working industrious people. i think they would be -- there would be great places to invest. i would have no problem with it. i think as president of the united states, they would call it a slight conflict of interest perhaps. thesey be hearing from people. no, i think it would be a great place. i think all three would be a great place to invest. >> thank you. pres. trump: thank you. -- >> firstaid: >> a question to president trump. the concern of the baltic states is russia. before the press conference, you , goodt the same time relationship with russia is not bad. but how are you going to deal with president putin? is he your enemy or someone you can have dialogue with? the question is to our president
, is the defense of the baltic states enough or should there be something more? for example, our defense systems. thank you. pres. trump: i think we will be able to have great dialogue. if you can't -- if we can't come you will be the first to know about it. no one has been tougher on russian and i have. i know you are 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. we are very strong on energy. we are energy independent. we are an exporter of energy. that is not a positive for russia. but it is certainly a positive for the united states. we just passed a $700 billion military budget. next year, 716 billion dollars. the largest ever passed. we are going to have a military stronger than we ever have before by far. that is not exactly a great thing for russia.
but that is the way it is. we will have the strongest military 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 paying what they should be paying. in, many, many billions of dollars additional have been paid by countries that were not paying. now they are paying. they will have to pay more, frankly. they will have to pay more. there are many things that i have done, not only the 60 diplomats, the -- germany did four, france did 60. has been no one who tougher on russia. with that being said, i think i could have a very good relationship with president putin. i think. it is possible i want. this room will know about it before i know about it. it is a real possibility that i could have a good relationship. remember this.
getting along with russia is a good thing. getting along with the 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. if i did, that would be a great thing. there is a great possibility that won't happen. who knows. ok? thank you. like to contribute to your first question. as i reminded you, we could trust the judgment of the nine states administration and people even while we were occupied. we could trust your judgment when we regained independence and seek membership of nato. are on abecause we common foundation. it is all written there. this foundation, therefore, i trust the judgment of president and his administration on that matter. estonia'sestion on
defense, we did cuts -- we did discuss the capacity necessary to make sure that it is believable to everybody who may want to question it. you know, equal partners do not come to talk to each other this way. i come here to washington to ask for let's say, support for this or that. we are in the situation together. we find solutions together which will work for us altogether because we are in it altogether. we equal -- we equally contribute. thank you. pres. vejonis: maybe i will add to that. our securities and our region. i'm positive this discussion will help a lot. to continue any political our easternh
neighbor, russia. pick a reporter please. you can pick a reporter. the baltic reporter, ideally. [laughter] pres. trump: real news, not fake news. [laughter] pres. trump: do you want to pick? do we have enough? yes? mr. president, pick a reporter from the baltics. not the same man, he was very tough. pick a reporter. go ahead. please. >> hi. i have a question for our president, you are going to san francisco after your meeting here in washington. you are meeting some people who are making business connections to the u.s.. do you see any certain outcomes
out of that? pres. vejonis: thank you. first of all, i think during our summit i will repeat again that we discussed how we can strengthen our economic corporation between baltic state and the u.s.. my visit to california, to the give a goodey, will basis for better understandings of what our business people need to be presented here. and what -- and how i can help them to be here. all thesethink corporations between baltic states, business people, and u.s. business people is very important for our societies. for our business societies. as i said, we are thinking not only about investments in our to make we are trying
in all ourstments country, but also our business people are invested here. i think it is important for countries -- for our countries. pres. trump: i want to conclude to say that i am impressed with these three great baltic nations. and at these three great presidents. thank you very much for being here. thank you. [applause] announcer: if you missed what mr. trump are the leaders of the baltic presidents had to say come you can watch it on our website, www.c-span.org. we are going to return to memphis to hear