According to reports by Bloomberg and other news outlets, Washington wants its allies to pay "cost-plus-50" for the stationing of American troops, meaning U.S. allies in Asia and Europe would pay the full cost of hosting U.S. troops and 50 percent more for the privilege.
However, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday,.. acting U.S. defense secretary Patrick Shanahan denied the reports, calling them erroneous.
Despite shooting down reports of a so-called "premium service", Shanahan said the U.S. is "not going to run a business" and it's "not going to run a charity".
He added the important part is that the allies pay their fair share, with payments coming in via "lots of different forms".
According to the Washington Post, although the acting defense secretary said the Pentagon would not take such an approach, the formula has been circulating within the Trump administration.
It cited sources familiar with the matter as saying the "cost-plus-50" formulation was mentioned to at least one country in a formal negotiation setting.
Observers say such an approach could potentially risk the long standing alliance between the U.S. and its friends around the world.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.