U.S. & Denmark

Overview of bilateral relationship

Denmark and the United States have long enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship. The two countries consult closely on European and other regional political and security matters and cooperate extensively to promote peace and stability well beyond Europe’s borders. Denmark largely shares U.S. views on the positive ramifications of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enlargement. Danish troops support International Security Assistance Force-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Air Force base and early warning radar facility at Thule, in northwest Greenland, serves as a vital link in Western and NATO defenses. In 2004, the Danish and Greenland Home Rule governments signed agreements allowing for an upgrade of the Thule early warning radar in connection with a role in the U.S. ballistic missile defense system. The same agreements also created new opportunities for both sides to enhance economic, technical, and environmental cooperation between the United States and Greenland.

American culture–and particularly popular culture, from jazz, rock, and rap to television shows and literature–is very popular in Denmark. More than 300,000 U.S. tourists visit Denmark annually.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Denmark’s active liberal trade policy in the European Union (EU), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Trade Organization largely coincides with U.S. interests. There have been differences of opinion between the U.S. and the EU on how to manage and resolve recent global and regional financial crises, but not on the importance of action. Denmark’s role in European environmental and agricultural issues and its strategic location at the entrance to the Baltic Sea have made Copenhagen a center for U.S. agencies and the private sector dealing with the Nordic/Baltic region.

The U.S. is Denmark’s largest non-European trade partner. Among major Danish exports to the United States are industrial machinery, chemical products, furniture, pharmaceuticals, canned ham and pork, windmills, and plastic toy blocks (Legos). In addition, Denmark has a significant services trade with the U.S., a major share of it stemming from Danish-controlled ships engaged in container traffic to and from the United States (notably by Maersk-Line). Over 400 U.S. companies have subsidiaries in Denmark.

Denmark’s Membership in International Organizations

Danish foreign policy is founded upon four cornerstones: the United Nations, NATO, the EU, and Nordic cooperation. Denmark and the United States belong to many of the same international organizations, including the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and the Arctic Council.