Norway's relationship to the US

The US is Norway’s most important ally. A good, close relationship to the US is therefore vital for Norway.

The US is Norway’s most important ally. A good, close relationship to the US is therefore vital for Norway.

Norway cooperates with the US in a broad range of areas – security policy and NATO, the High North and the Arctic, our policy of engagement, culture, business, trade and economics, research, energy and the environment.

Visits and political talks
Norway takes part in regular exchanges of visits and in talks with US authorities. In May 2013 Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess visited Houston and San Francisco. In October 2011 Their Majesties King and Queen visited Norwegian Americans in the Midwest and New York. Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende visited Washington, D.C. i November 2013.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. on 15 November 2013. (Photo: Ragnhild Imerslund/MFA)

In addition, several Norwegian ministers, state secretaries and parliamentary committees visit the US every year. There is also regular contact between other political groups in Norway and the US.

NATO, defence cooperation and the High North
For both Norway and the US, NATO is the most important security policy instrument. We agree that NATO must remain the principal forum for transatlantic security policy cooperation. Norway believes it is vital that the US maintains its transatlantic security policy commitments through NATO and its active engagement in Europe. Norway is seen in Washington as a credible and reliable ally. We make substantial contributions to the international response to crises, providing both military and civilian resources to international operations with a UN Security Council mandate. We have annual security policy consultations with the US at Director General level.

The US takes an interest in the new challenges arising in our neighbouring area. Energy, the environment and security in this region are on the agenda of talks between our countries. Key issues are: geo-political developments in the High North, with increased activity on the part of other non-Arctic countries; Norway’s bilateral relations with Russia, including our cross-border cooperation; sound management of natural resources; and strengthening the Arctic Council.

Policy of engagement
The US regards Norway as an important foreign policy actor in a number of areas. We cooperate closely on global health, particularly child and maternal health, conservation of the rainforest, gender equality and not least key peace processes in Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East. Our broad cooperation in these fields is an important reason why the US State Department took the initiative to establish a Global Issues Dialogue with Norway. So far, Norway is the only Western country to be engaged in a GID forum.

Business, research and education
The Norwegian business sector has strong ties with the US. Norwegian companies in a range of sectors have established operations in the US, from the traditional shipping sector, to oil and energy sectors, and new creative, technology-based activities. Texas, California and New York are especially important for Norway in this context. Houston stands out in particular with 150 Norwegian companies.

New York is one of the most important financial centres in the world, and has been important for Norwegian business interests for more than 100 years. This metropolis is also becoming an important centre for Norwegian design. US political and financial actors are noting the fact that Norway’s Government Pension Fund – Global has placed nearly 35 % of its investments in the US.

The US is a world leader in terms of research and innovation. It is home to many high profile, top notch universities and educational institutions. These are attracting increasing numbers of Norwegian students and researchers.

Culture
Several of the world’s foremost cultural institutions and arts organisations are to be found in the US. Norwegian artists take part in major exhibitions in prestigious institutions such as MoMA, Guggenheim and the New Museum. There is growing interest in Norwegian architecture and design following Snøhetta’s engagement to design the Museum Pavilion at Ground Zero and redesign Times Square’s street level. Norwegian literature is popular. Crime writers and established names such as Per Petterson attract interest. Ibsen’s plays continue to be produced on Broadway and Liv Ullmann and Jon Fosse are known names. Norwegian films take part in prominent US film festivals, and are often later distributed in the country. The US is an important country for the music industry, and Norwegian bands and musicians such as Kvelertak, Ane Brun, Enslaved, Lindstrøm and Leif Ove Andsnes tour and take part in major festivals.