Defense spending and the Strait of Hormuz were on the agenda during Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's trip to Washington on a mission to strengthen ties. US President Trump often criticizes Germany's military expenditure.
Members of NATO agreed five years ago that each should spend 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense by 2024. Germany estimates that spending in this area will amount to 1.36% of GPD by the end of the year.
"I am sticking to the end goal of 2%. But for 2024, my goal is 1.5%," Kramp-Karrenbauer said. "It's not just about cash. It's also about international commitments."
Quick decision on Tornado replacement
Kramp-Karrenbauer also said she aimed to decide as soon as possible on how to replace Germany's aging fleet of Tornado fighter planes and would be working closely with Esper on the matter.
At the start of the year, Germany dismissed the US-made F-35 fighter as a replacement. There were concerns it could adversely affect a Franco-German next-generation combat jet.
"We made clear that ... the Future Combat Air System with the French was one of the reasons that ... we had to seek other solutions," Kramp-Karrenbauer said.