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The U.S. – Kingdom of Denmark Relationship
Learn more about the U.S. relationship with Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands
U.S. and Denmark
The U.S. Denmark 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.

U.S. and Greenland
The U.S. – Greenland Relationship

The United States and Greenland continue to expand their dynamic partnership, strengthening relations well beyond a traditional focus on security policy. In August 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller and Home Rule Deputy Premier Josef Motzfeldt met in Igaliku, Greenland to sign an update to the 1951 Defense of Greenland Agreement and two additional political declarations that have broadened and deepened cooperation between the United States and Greenland. Specifically, the Igaliku Agreements created the Joint Committee, which served as an expanded forum to promote cooperation between the United States, Denmark and Greenland across a diverse range of policy areas, including environment, science, health, technology, trade, tourism, education, and culture.

Reopening the U.S. Consulate

The Secretary of State announced May 2019 the intent to re-establish a permanent Department of State presence in Greenland. On June 10, 2020 we reopened the U.S. Consulate in Nuuk, Greenland. The Consul and consulate staff work to find opportunities to broaden and deepen the relationship between the United States and Greenland. Primary areas of focus are expanding commercial and investment ties as Greenland seeks to diversify its economy in sectors such as tourism and mining. The United States also looks to expand partnerships in education and scientific research. Informing the Greenlandic population, through public diplomacy efforts, of U.S. interests is also a key objective. You can follow such efforts on Instagram @uskalaallitnunaanni and on https://www.facebook.com/usconsulatenuuk.

The relationship between the United States and Greenland continues to expand, improve and become much more versatile. U.S. activities in Greenland include official visits, people-to-people exchanges, expert consultations, cooperation on mineral resources, environment, science, energy, technology, and health concerns, security support, and diplomatic and consular visits.

Thule Air Base

Thule Air Base is the northernmost installation of the U.S. Armed Forces, located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Thule’s arctic environment offers some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the world, including majestic icebergs in the North Star Bay, the massive polar ice cap, and Wolstenholme Fjord–the only place on earth where three active glaciers join.

Thule Air Base is home to sensors providing missile warning, space surveillance, and satellite control to the United States Space Force (USSF) and mission partners such as the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Thule Air Base is also home to the 821st Space Base Group, responsible for integrated base support operations of the Thule Defense Area and the entire multinational population of “Team Thule.” The base hosts the 12th Space Warning Squadron which operates Thule’s solid-state phased-array radar designed to detect and track ICBMs launched over the North Pole. Thule is also host to Detachment 1 of the 23rd Space Operations Squadron, a crucial remote tracking station for the USSF’s global satellite control network. In addition, Thule’s 10,000-foot runway and its seaport, the northernmost deep-water port in the world, provide a unique platform for Arctic training, international scientific research and environmental programs.

For more information on the base, please visit Space Base Delta 1’s website .

DTU Space at Thule – National Space Institute

DTU Space – National Space Institute, operates a permanent GPS station at Thule Airbase. This station is one of 91 global core stations in the International GNSS Service (IGS) network of tracking stations defining the International Terrestrial Reference Frame. Data from this station contribute to precise determination of GPS satellite orbits, precise timing and space weather forecasts for the use of the international scientific community. Recently a secondary tracking station has been established to facilitate tracking of new generations of GPS satellite signals.

Learn more on the DTU Space website. 

U.S. – Greenland Science Cooperation

The United States actively conducts a broad range of scientific research across Greenland in partnership with Danish and Greenlandic institutions and other international partners.  The leading funding agencies include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The United States maintains facilities in Greenland including Summit Station.  Further information on specific research facilities and projects can be found in the links below.

U.S. and the Faroe Islands
The U.S. Faroe Islands Relationship

The Faroe Islands and the United States have a long history of shared ties and shared values, which stem from the thousands of personal connections that the American and the Faroese people have built over the years.

November 12, 2020, marked a milestone in relations between the United States and the Faroe Islands. On that day, the United States and the Faroe Islands signed a Partnership Declaration that covers areas of mutual interest from marine resource management and environmental protection, to cultural cooperation and sustainable economic development, entrepreneurship, innovation, tourism, and trade. This Partnership Declaration marks the beginning of strengthened cooperation between the United States and the Faroe Islands in these and other areas of mutual interest with the aim to establish deeper and fuller relationships between the governments and the people of the United States and Faroe Islands.

Doing Business in the Faroe Islands

Considering doing business in the Faroe Islands? Learn more about the economy and business sector in the “Doing Business in Other Areas of Denmark” section of the International Trade Administration’s Country Commercial Guide for Denmark .

For information about the Faroe Islands, please visit https://www.government.fo/.