QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I would like to talk about several topics between the Netherlands and the United States. And you are here from The Hague because of the GES, the summit. And is it possible to have a successful summit when there are so many tensions between the United States and the European Union about trade?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, thanks for being with me today. I appreciate it. We’re going to have a successful summit. Indeed, we already have. Businesses from all over, big businesses, small and medium-size businesses coming together, capital providers looking to invest both in the Netherlands and the United States – we’ll have an enormously successful summit.
We share a set of values, and entrepreneurship is at the core of each of our two countries, in the way we grow and take care of our people and allow individuals to take care of their families. I’m very confident we’ll have a good summit.
I hear people talk about the tension between Europe and the United States. I watch us continue to be engaged in the deepest, most fundamental ways to create democracy and freedom and liberty all across the world. I enjoy working with my European partners, and I think we continue to be very successful at doing so.
QUESTION: We’re here in the Chinese room of the Johan de Witthuis. About 5G and Huawei, you have some concerns about it. The Dutch Government will decide within a few weeks if they will work with Huawei on the 5G network. What do you hope the Dutch Government will decide?
SECRETARY POMPEO: These aren’t American concerns. These are shared concerns. I know the people of the Netherlands have a deep commitment to secure – securing their own information, to privacy. That’s not possible when your information is running through networks through a company like Huawei that has an incentive system to share their information with the Chinese Government that has three members of the Chinese Communist Party as members of their board of directors.
I think as the people of the Netherlands come to understand that risk, and they understand that their information will almost by necessity be shared with the Chinese Government, they will come to make a good decision about trusted networks and how to make decisions about which equipment should be purchased.
QUESTION: If the Dutch Government decides to work with Huawei, what will be the consequences?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, I think the people of Netherlands’ information will be less secure. I think that’s the fundamental consequence. The United States too has made pretty clear that our information, we’ll permit that it only go across networks that we trust, that we have confidence in. And so we’ll have to make decisions given how other countries proceed, decisions about where and how American information can be shared across those networks.
QUESTION: So it will affect the cooperation between, for example, our intelligence services?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, we don’t know how different countries will proceed. I am confident. We have worked together. I ran the Central Intelligence Agency. I watched the close relationship we had with our European counterparts, including our counterpart – counterparts here in the Netherlands. I’m confident we’ll be able to work through this in a way that permits us to continue our close cooperation.
QUESTION: Another topic is the Nord Stream pipeline, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. How big are risks for Netherlands and other European countries?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We in America simply hope that Europe will take seriously the need for a diversified, secure energy base, an energy base that isn’t tied to Russia. We know the history between Europe and Russia, and we know that in times of conflict the Russians will use whatever tools they have available to raise the costs for Europe to make decisions that are in its best interests but perhaps not in the interests of Russia. We hope Europe will get this right.
QUESTION: Is there a risk of sanctions against Dutch companies if they —
SECRETARY POMPEO: I never talk about sanctions before we do them.
QUESTION: Can you exclude it from Dutch companies perhaps?
SECRETARY POMPEO: I never talk about sanctions before we do them.
QUESTION: Another topic, especially an important issue in Netherlands, is the downing of MH17. Can the Netherlands still count on the United States about MH17?
SECRETARY POMPEO: The short answer is, of course, yes. We express our condolences for the loss of life, what took place there. We had a chance to talk earlier today with the foreign minister about this issue and the work that’s being done to continue to hold – try do their level best to hold the Russians accountable for what took place there, this horrific tragedy. The Netherlands can count on the United States to continue to support them in that effort.
QUESTION: Do you think Russia is cooperative enough?
SECRETARY POMPEO: No, they need to do more.
SECRETARY POMPEO: I’m sorry.
QUESTION: Why do they need —
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, because Russia needs to account for what took place there, and I think that’s the process that’s being engaged in now. I’m hopeful that Russia will see that it’s in their best interest to account for what took place in this horrible loss of life.
QUESTION: So they have to step up and do more?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, and I hope that they will. And the United States will continue to support the Netherlands in this effort.
QUESTION: Another topic between Netherlands and the United States is defense spending. And Netherlands right now, it’s not meeting the 2 percent NATO pledge. What will be the consequences if the Netherlands doesn’t meet the 2 percent pledge?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, the most important consequence is that the people of the Netherlands will be less secure, and the people of the Netherlands won’t have the resources committed to their own security that they need to.
It will also mean that the Netherlands hasn’t lived up to its commitment. Sometimes the Americans are accused of wanting to reduce its commitment to NATO, but in fact we’ve lived up to the commitments we have made to NATO. The Netherlands needs to do the same. They’ve made a commitment to get to 2 percent of its GDP, to spend that in its collective defense, collective support, but also to secure and protect the people of the Netherlands. And we are very hopeful they will do that and they’ll do so, as they committed to, by 2024.
QUESTION: But it’s far out of reach, the numbers right now. They’re not meeting it at all.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, they need to – they need to continue to make the argument for – leaders need to continue to make the arguments about why it matters to the people of the Netherlands to do so.
QUESTION: Is the alliance at risk?
SECRETARY POMPEO: No, I just think anytime a country doesn’t step up and do what it commits to do, it diminishes the capacity for an organization like NATO to perform its fundamental mission. We hope every country will do that. We think NATO is important. We think NATO matters. We think NATO has been successful. It’s why we’ve contributed over 3 percent of our GDP to our defense effort, part of which is deeply focused on protecting the people here in Europe. And we hope every country that’s a member of NATO will choose to do the right thing and do the thing that will secure their own nations.
QUESTION: Last final question. The Dutch king invited President Trump to come to the Netherlands in August. Did he receive the – how do you say it? Is he going to attend the ceremony?
SECRETARY POMPEO: So I’ve received the invitation. I don’t know whether he’s going to be able to make it here or not. It’s a very kind invitation, and we are deeply appreciative of the invitation for the President to come visit here. We know this is an important celebration for the Netherlands, and I know the President will give it serious consideration.
QUESTION: Okay, thank you very much.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, sir.