President Donald Trump left Washington, D.C., Monday morning for the NATO leaders summit in the United Kingdom.
The two-day conference marks the 70th anniversary of the alliance. Ahead of his departure, President Trump was scheduled to have bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Senior administration officials said the top three issues on the president's agenda are China's expanding world influence, the expansion of 5G technology and NATO countries' defense spending.
Defense cost sharing among NATO members is an issue President Trump has repeatedly raised, and it's something previous U.S. presidents have talked about for decades. All member countries are supposed to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense. But even though that hasn't happened, allied defense spending is on the rise. Nine member countries hit the 2% mark in 2019, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said a majority of countries have plans to reach 2% by 2024.
The NATO leaders are also expected to talk about the fight against terrorism, and how the alliance's cooperation can expand to space.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.