Trump, Slovakia's prime minister celebrate strong economies

President Donald Trump and the prime minister of Slovakia congratulate each other on the strength of their nations' economies

Pellegrini said Trump has been very clear that European nations must do much more on defense, and he stressed that Slovakia is doing just that. Pellegrini said his country is ahead of schedule to increase its defense spending to 2 percent of gross national product.

"By 2022, we will be on that number," Pellegrini said.

Trump praised Slovakia's efforts to boost defense spending, citing a contract in December to buy 14 F-16 military jets from Lockheed Martin as it seeks to replace Soviet-era jets.

"It's a very big order, actually," Trump said. "I'm very impressed."

Pellegrini congratulated Trump on the latest U.S. jobs report and boasted that his country is experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in its history.

The April jobs report released Friday showed that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a five-decade low of 3.6% from 3.8%, though that drop reflected a rise in the number of people who stopped looking for work. The report also showed employers added 263,000 jobs.

The White House said after the meeting that Trump and Pellegrini also discussed the need to diversify Europe's energy sources. The U.S. has been pushing European nations to buy its liquefied natural gas and reduce energy dependence on Russia.

The White House said Trump also cited the need for fair and reciprocal trade between the United States and the European Union.

———

Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.