President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö made an official working visit to the United States and met President of the United States Donald Trump in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, 2 October 2019. The meeting occurred during the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Finland and the United States.
Diplomatic relations between America and Finland was established in 1919, following the 1917 declaration of independence from the Russian Empire. The Americans severed their diplomatic relations with Finland in 1944 during World War II, due to Finland’s alliance with Nazi Germany. U.S.-Finland diplomatic relations were re-established in 1945. Finland is bordered on the east by Russia and, as one of the former Soviet Union’s neighbors, was of particular interest and importance to the United States both during the Cold War and in its aftermath. Before the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, longstanding U.S. policy was to support Finnish neutrality while maintaining and reinforcing Finland’s historic, cultural, and economic ties with the West. Finland has contributed to the advancement of technology and research, promotion of international economic development, and the defense of human rights and peace. The United States has welcomed Finland’s integration into Western economic and political structures. In 1994, Finland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace program and was designated a NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner at the 2014 Wales Summit. It became a full member of the European Union (EU) in 1995 and joined the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Finland welcomes foreign investment. Exports from the United States to Finland include machinery, telecommunications equipment and parts, metalliferous ores, road vehicles and transport equipment, computers, peripherals and software, electronic components, chemicals, medical equipment, and some agricultural products. Imports from Finland to the United States include electronics, machinery, ships and boats, paper and paperboard, refined petroleum products, and telecommunications equipment and parts. Finland participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
CELEBRATING A CENTURY-LONG PARTNERSHIP: President Donald J. Trump is proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United States strong diplomatic relationship with Finland.
- President Trump is welcoming President Sauli Niinistö of Finland to the White House to celebrate and enhance the longstanding and valuable cooperation between our nations.
- The United States and Finland cooperate on regional and global security, countering hybrid threats, counterterrorism, and promoting free, fair, and reciprocal trade.
- The United States and Finland share significant cultural and educational ties.
- Each year, about 200,000 Finns visit the United States and roughly 230,000 Americans travel to Finland.
- More than 750 Finnish students study in American universities while more than 450 Americans study at Finnish universities.
- President Trump applauds Finland for agreeing to work with Native American tribes to return ancestral remains and funerary objects that were taken in the late 1800s.
PROMOTING A VALUED ALLIANCE: Finland is an important partner that supports American and international efforts to maintain stability and counter current security threats.
- As an “Enhanced Opportunity Partner,” Finland is an important partner to NATO.
- Finland has joined United States efforts to combat increasing hybrid threats, which often seek to destabilize countries without using significant force.
- The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, which the United States helped establish, is based in Finland and aims to assist states in understanding and defending against hybrid threats.
- Finland is a member of the Coalition to Defeat ISIS and maintains troops on the ground training Iraqi soldiers every day.
- The United States is partnering with Finland and other Arctic nations to address new threats to the Arctic and defend our interests there through promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development in the region.
- The United States values Finland’s leadership and efforts to maintain stability in the Baltic Sea, High North, and Arctic regions.
REAFFIRMING OUR ECONOMIC TIES: The United States and Finland share a thriving trade and investment partnership that greatly benefits both countries.
- Finland shares the United States commitment to open and fair trade, and the value of trade between our nations has steadily increased.
- Each year, the United States exports nearly four billion dollars worth of goods and services to Finland, and the United States is Finland’s third largest export market.
- Finland’s Foreign Direct Investment stock in the United States currently stands at more than $10 billion and Finnish-owned companies employ more than 20,000 people in the United States, according to the most recent data.
The presidency of the Council of the EU – A rotating presidency – The current trio is made up of the presidencies of the Romania, Finland and Croatia.
The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU’s work in the Council. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called ‘trios’. This system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18 month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month programme.
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