How the Friendship Started
Denmark is regarded as the smallest nation in Scandinavia. Like other small nations, its prosperity relies upon the existence of foreign trade with strong nations. Before the end of the 19th century, its main exports were grains. These commodities were transported to Germany and United Kingdom. To some extent, however, this trade was hampered because of cheaper grains coming from Australia and North America. As a result, Denmark had to switch to more profitable options in agriculture.
Back then, Denmark started exporting cheese, bacon, eggs, butter and meat. Industry was a bit lagging behind for the nation since it lacks sources for raw materials. With the help of the food processing industries as well as the highly-skilled labor force, the land was able to develop economically. In fact, 20% of the workforce concentrated on manufacturing these goods. Raw materials were imported from other countries and are converted in Denmark to become export products.
Sixty percent (60%) of the land area in Denmark was devoted to agriculture. Despite this percentage, only 7% of the labor force was into agricultural activities. Barley is the primary crop which was grown in 50% of the farmland. Other agricultural crops are grass, green fodder and root crops.
Since the 19th century, Denmark had supported free trade. It has been a member of the so-called Nordic Council (trade between Scandinavian Nations) and the European Community (EC). Its foreign trade with Germany and United Kingdom had remained strong throughout the years. For the non-European Nations, the United States is its largest trade partner. As evidence to this, it was recorded that the US accounts for 5% of the total Danish trade for 2007.
Other than the exports and imports to and from the US and Denmark, they have been close allies when it comes to politics and security. The Danish are active in both Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. They have been engaging very well when it comes to aspects of security and as proof to this, Greenland (proclaimed to form part of Denmark's territory), serves as the headquarters for the US Air Force base.
Major Exports and Imports between Denmark and the United States
As recorded in the world trade of Denmark for 2007, exports to other countries was comprised of manufactured goods, machinery and instruments, agricultural products, fish and shellfish and fuel. Imports coming from other members of global business were raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital and transport equipment and fuel. Leading trade partners include Germany, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.
The exports coming from the United States to Denmark were aircraft, machinery, computers and instruments while imports to the former from the latter were industrial machinery, furniture, chemical products, pharmaceutical preparations, canned goods and toys. As recorded by the US Census Bureau, total US exports to Denmark as of September 2008 amounted to $2.09 billion and the imports had a total of $4.84 billion. For the year 2007, the following data were noted:
Trade Agreements between the US and Denmark
- Danish Exports to US. The total exports of Denmark to the US for the year 2007 were recorded at $6.07 billion. Of this total amount, 19.44% or $1.18 billion was earned by medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations. Completing the top of the list were: generators, transformers and accessories; other industrial machinery; clocks, portable typewriters and other household goods; other scientific, medical and hospital equipment; industrial engines, pumps, compressors and generators; meat products, poultry and edible animals; toys, shooting and sporting goods and bicycles; finished metal shapes and advanced manufactures excluding steel; and minimum value shipments. Minimum value shipments were sold at a total of $149.99 million which is 2.47% of the year's total.
- Danish Imports from the US. Goods coming from the United States to Denmark earned a total amount of $2.93 billion for 2007. Out of this total, 9.44% or $276.52 million went to the sales of civilian aircraft. Included on top of the list were: medicinal equipment, civilian aircraft parts; telecommunications equipment; semiconductors; computer accessories; minimum value shipments; pharmaceutical preparations; other chemicals; and complete military aircraft. The last item was sold at an amount of $84.27 million which is 2.88% of the total for the said category.
- Fastest-Growing US Exports to Denmark. The prime commodities from the US entering the boundaries of Denmark were said to make their own share in the market. Commendable goods which had surprisingly increased in sales from 2006 to 2007 were prevalent. Topping the list was manufactured tobacco which earned a total of $278 thousand. The sales of the said product increased by 631.82% from 2006. Other remarkable items were: engines and turbines for military aircraft; other commercial vessels; copper; and pulpwood and woodpulp. The last item was sold at $3.22 million or 425.79% higher than in 2006.
- Fastest-Growing US Imports from Denmark. The imports of the US from Denmark made their own stint in the market as well. As evidence to this, several goods improved their sales marks. Plywood and veneers were sold at a total of $4.3 million in 2007 which was 1,155.91% higher than in 2006. Other products which made it to the sales percentage increase rankings were: synthetic rubbers, wood, cork, gums and resins; miscellaneous non-ferrous metals; complete and assembled goods; and unmanufactured leathers and furs. Unmanufactured leathers and furs were sold for a total of $101 thousand which was 272.97% higher than in 2006.
To strengthen the bonds of friendship and trade between the two nations, the US and Danish government signed some agreements. They have one which focused on commerce, navigation and friendship and another for military security. Here are the vital parts of each treaty:
Disputes between the Two Nations
- Denmark Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty. This treaty was signed in Copenhagen in October 1, 1951. At around 10 years later, on July 30, 1961, the pact was entered into force by the two nations. This was signed in order to strengthen not only the alliance between US and Denmark but more so to build a foundation for the trade of the two countries. Furthermore, it encouraged the mutual benefits of investment and free trade. Both companies and nationals were allowed to enter the territorial jurisdiction of the other without prejudice to the resources of both countries. Just like any other trade agreement, the main concern of this pact was to promote camaraderie along the line of trade.
- Modernization of US Base in Greenland. Denmark and Greenland signed an agreement to modernize the US Air Force Base situated in the latter. This pact was formed for the future US missile shield defense field. This was done for security reasons especially that there is no assurance to what the future holds when it comes to international terrorism. As part of the modernization plan, a radar facility needs to be installed. This would enable the US to filter the schemes on war of other nations against them.
Protecting each other from war was one of the main reasons why US and Denmark stayed closely together. They have built trust for each other hence when it comes to security matters they believe that all things could be done. In 2005, however, there was an incident when the Danish government has to warn the US of unauthorized CIA flights in the former's airspace. This is because Denmark would want to reiterate that though it could support US with its war against other nations it will never put the international welfare into more disastrous events. It was even suspected that the airplanes from the US to Denmark was used as a vehicle to transport terror suspects which were later on tortured by the US camp. There were also issues of misuse and abuse of power by the Americans on this occurrence.
The Future Trade between the Two Nations
Denmark was able to revive itself from the oil crisis of 1973 and now that the US is somehow experiencing the problem, one good thing they could focus on is to consult the Danish government on how they could solve the circumstance. Since Denmark adapted energy reconfiguration to be able to attain their stature in international trade, the US will definitely reap the benefits. One vital thing the US government must concentrate on is to discuss these matters with the help of the Danes.
On the other hand, the US government is willing to tap entrepreneurship in Denmark. The Americans are more than enthusiastic to help the Danes take advantage of the opportunities for business expansion. With this in mind, there will never be an end to the alliance of these two nations. They have both considered each other's welfare thus making their trade relations even stronger than ever. Who would be on top of who when it comes to global trade is no longer a concern for any of these countries. What matters now and for the future is to mutually deliver goods and services and at the same time earn the fruits of their labor. No security or trade conflicts could ever hinder the close ties between the two.
US-Denmark Trade References