How the Strong Bond Began
Norway is situated in the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It remained a producer of goods such as fish, timber and farm products until the late part of the 19th century. Industries were in boom when the 1900's began. This was a period when water supply was immensely put into proper consumption.
Agriculture in Norway is practiced in fertile valleys. Only about 3% of the land is arable and 75% is unproductive. Mountain pastures allow livestock and cattle-raising, which is said to be more vital for the economy than crop cultivation. Dairying is also important to Norwegians. To be able to supplement their income, farmers engage in forestry. Fishing is said to be one of the primary sources of exports with fish farming, processing and other fish products contributing to the industry.
Petroleum and gas production had long been regarded as one of the most developed industries in the land after an offshore field was discovered. Food, beverage and tobacco processing was also among the high ranking industries of Norway. Other industries include manufacture of transportation equipment such as ships and boats as well as production of metal and metal products.
In terms of per capita income, Norway is considered one of the richest in world economy. It virtually promotes foreign trade thus making its market share even more profitable. Its shipping fleet is one of the most modern in terms of built, amenities and other features. Since the 1970's, its emergence as a major oil and gas producer transformed its declining economy. Investments from foreign lands kept on coming thus Norway began to realize its own dreams for the nation and its people.
Norway was one of the countries who voted against joining the European Union (EU). However, with the exception of fishery and agriculture, they were allowed to conduct foreign trade with the said union's member nations. With this in mind, Norway still adapts EU directives and policies.
The strong bond between the US and Norway was seen in their very active cultural exchange. They have loved each other's tradition and have respected all that their ancestors have passed down to them. Millions of Norwegians are found on US soil while around 20,000 Americans reside in Norway. The United States ranks number six among Norway's trading partners.
Major Exports and Imports between the Two Nations
For the year 2007, the major markets for Norwegian products were the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, US and Sweden. Its major suppliers on the other hand were Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, China and US. The major products traded with the international market are dairy, livestock, grain, potatoes, fruits and vegetables, petroleum and gas, processed food, pulp and paper products, ferroalloys, iron and steel.
The US Census Bureau has recorded US exports to Norway at $2.63 billion from January to September 2008. The imports were tracked at a total of $5.99 billion for the same time span. Data for 2007 was gathered by the same agency and statistics are as follows:
Trade Agreements between the Two Nations
- Norwegian Exports to US. The year 2007 was a good year for products coming from Norway sold on US grounds. As evidence to this, total sales of all the goods were recorded at $7.32 billion. Out of this total amount, $1.32 billion which is 18.03% of the year's total went to other petroleum products. To complete the list, it was joined by: crude; liquefied petroleum gas; fuel oil; nickel; medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations; drilling and oilfield equipment and platforms; telecommunications equipment; fish and shellfish; and other military equipment. Other military equipment was sold for a total of $133.25 million or 1.82% of 2007's earnings.
- Norwegian Imports from US. Imports of Norway from the US made their own stint in the Norwegian market. They sold the products for a total of $3.05 billion. Out of this total amount, $211.59 million which is equivalent to 6.93% went to the sales of measuring, testing and control instruments. Other commodities found on top of the list were: other nonferrous metals; drilling and oilfield equipment; civilian aircraft; minimum value shipments; civilian aircraft parts; medicinal equipment industrial engines; generators and accessories; and telecommunications equipment. The last product was sold at a total of $98.65 million which is 3.23% of the year's total.
- Fastest-Growing US Exports to Norway. The United States exported a lot of products to be sold in Norway. Astoundingly, there are a lot of goods which made their share in the market. On top of the charts were sorghum, barley and oats which were sold for $7.58 million making it 19,939.47% higher than its sales in 2006. Other commendable goods were: rugs; dairy products and eggs; generators and accessories; and nursery stock. Nursery stock was sold for a total of $18 thousand in 2007 which was 600% higher than the previous year.
- Fastest-Growing US Imports from Norway. While US exports to Norway made a remarkable share in the economy, imports of the former from the latter were also doing well. Plywood and veneers were sold at $2.51 million for 2007 which was 2,640% higher than its sales record in 2006. Other products worth the remarks were: artwork, antiques, stamps and other collectibles; copper; bauxite and aluminum; and blank audio and visual tapes and other media. The last products earned a total income of $61 thousand making it garner an increase of 762.5% from 2006.
Treaties are made to put all relationships of two nations in order. This could help provide a gateway for a more fruitful and abundant trade relations. Their dealings with each other in terms of economy, friendship, military and politics could be secured with the bond made by trade agreements. For Norway and the United States, the following pact was made:
Norway Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights Treaty. This treaty was signed in Washington on June 5, 1928 and was put into force four years later on September 13, 1932. One of the vital points provided in the trade agreement is the fact that the nationals of both Norway and US shall be allowed to travel and reside in the territory of the other party. On the religious and spiritual side, they are permitted to exercise liberty of conscience as well as freedom of worship. Furthermore, it provided that no interference shall obstruct any engagement in activities such as business, philanthropy and science. It also specifically stated that no internal taxes or hidden charges shall be imposed on goods entering or coming out of each territorial jurisdiction.
Some researches in both nations are in support of the common goals of Norway and US. For instance, they have focused on some aspects of marine and fishery specifically on awareness of the impact and interaction with the marine environment. An increased concern was also dwelt upon in order to encourage the relevance that science institutions play for marine life conservation. Other key research areas geared on obtaining the objectives for learning were space, energy, medicine, social sciences and bio technology. Education plays a vital role in the achievement of the goals of these schemes.
Norway's Restriction on Imports of Apples and Pears
There is the so-called seasonal restriction in the importation of apples and pears of Norway from US. Some licensing schemes needed to be followed along this line. Several deadlines had to be met upon lifting of the restrictions in order for said commodities to form part of Norwegian imports from the American grounds. Main disputes on this fact were provided as follows:
The Future Trade between the Two Nations
- Concerns on the US's side. The US believed that Norway applied drastic measures on the restriction of the imports of apples and pears. Licensing programs were strictly prohibited just to be able to restrict the entrance of a commodity in the market. Moreover, the US government believes that the measures applied resulted in an infringement of Norway's obligations in the rules of free trade.
- Concerns on Norway's side. Norway believed that they were not in a breach of contract. According to them, they were not violating their obligations and that their prohibitions were made in accordance with the General Agreements on Tariff and Trade.
There were several disputes arising from the trade of commodities between Norway and the US aside from the import restrictions on apples and pears. In fact, in 2003, a trade deficit of the US with Norway was recorded at $3.7 billion. Although the said deficit was said to be lower by $691 million from the previous year, several efforts were still to be made to eliminate the barriers of trade.
Attempts have always been made to stabilize the economy of both nations. International trade rules dictate that no country shall take advantage of the weakness of the other just so to improve their rankings among all world economies. A better way to deal with things is for governments to discuss the vital aspects of trade and to see how standard rules could be integrated. Norway and US trade relations have been strengthened by tradition hence there is no need to give up what their ancestors have already started. It is just a matter of recognizing the error or fault to be able to yield better global business initiatives and results.
US-Norway Trade References