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Swedish–American relations
""Map indicating locations of Sweden and USA


"United States
A ship leaving the "port in Gothenburg, Sweden, on its way to America.
"Olof Palme demonstrating side by side with "North Vietnam ambassador Nguyen Tho Chyan on February 21, 1968 in "Stockholm.
Swedish Prime Minister "Fredrik Reinfeldt and US President "George W. Bush at the "White House on May 15, 2007.

Swedish–American relations reach back to the days of the "American Revolutionary War. The Kingdom of Sweden was the first country not formally engaged in the conflict (though thousands of Swedish volunteers partook on the side of the patriots) to recognize the United States of America before the "Treaty of Paris. The "Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed subsequently in 1783 between "Benjamin Franklin and Swedish representative "Gustaf Philip Creutz.

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 36% of "Swedes approve of U.S. leadership, with 30% disapproving and 34% uncertain.[1]

Under a comprehensive mandate, Sweden's nonalignment policy has led it to serve as the "protecting power for the United States and to represent Washington in "North Korea on consular matters.[2]


History of relations[edit]

Like many European powers, "Sweden participated in the colonization of America that started in the 17th century. The first Swedish colony along the banks of the "Delaware River was established in 1638 (see "New Sweden).

Sweden was the first country not engaged in the "American Revolutionary War to recognize the young American republic. The Swedish Count "Axel von Fersen was a distinguished soldier during the war, serving as an interpreter between General "Rochambeau and General "Washington. In 1783 the United States' Ambassador to Paris, "Benjamin Franklin, and the Swedish Ambassador, Count "Gustaf Philip Creutz, signed a "Treaty of Amity and Commerce.[3]

During the period between 1820–1930 approximately 1.3 million Swedes, a third of the country's population, "emigrated to North America and most of them to the United States. Like the "Irish diaspora it was sparked by poverty in Sweden, which was exacerbated during bad years. Only "Britain (especially Ireland) and Norway had a higher emigration rate. Most of the Swedish emigrants settled in the central and Western United States. By 1910, Chicago had a greater population of Swedes than "Gothenburg. "Minnesota was also a place where many Swedish emigrants settled. The majority of Swedish-Americans fought in the "American Civil War on the Union side. (See also "John Ericsson#USS Monitor)

The first Swedish head of government who met with a US President was "Prime Minister "Tage Erlander, who visited "Harry S. Truman at the "White House in 1952.

The period between 1968 and 1976 also marked a cold period in the political relations between Sweden and the U.S., mainly due to the Swedish government's vocal opposition to the "Vietnam War. In February 1968, the US recalled "its Ambassador from Sweden after the Swedish Minister of Education and future prime minister "Olof Palme, a "Social Democrat, had participated in a protest in Stockholm against the war together with the North Vietnamese Ambassador to the Soviet Union Nguyen Tho Chan.[4] The post of US Ambassador to Sweden remained vacant until February 1970. In December 1972, Olof Palme (then Prime Minister) made a speech on Swedish national radio where he compared the ongoing "US bombings of Hanoi to some of the worst atrocities committed by the "Nazis. The US government called the comparison a "gross insult" and once again decided to freeze its diplomatic relations with Sweden (this time the freeze lasted for over a year).[4]

Relations improved when "Thorbjörn Fälldin became Swedish prime minister in 1976, and following the "assassination of Olof Palme in 1986 and the succession of "Ingvar Carlsson as new Prime Minister, Swedish-American relations improved. Ingvar Carlsson met with President "Ronald Reagan in 1987, the first time that a Swedish Prime Minister was invited to the White House since 1961, when Erlander paid a visit to Kennedy.

Carlsson's successor as Prime Minister, "Carl Bildt, visited both President "George H. W. Bush in 1992 and President "Bill Clinton in 1994.

Immediately after the "September 11, 2001 attacks, the Swedish government expressed its sympathies with the U.S. and supported the U.S.-led "invasion of Afghanistan.[5][6] However, like many other European governments, Sweden opposed the "2003 invasion of Iraq, reasoning that the invasion was a breach of "international law.[7] However, Prime Minister Göran Persson was relatively mild in his criticism of the U.S. compared to Olof Palme's strong criticism during the Vietnam War.

In the Statement of Government Policy presented to the "Riksdag on October 6, 2006, the new centre-right Prime Minister "Fredrik Reinfeldt declared that the new government will work for a "strengthening of the "transatlantic link". Reinfeldt's party, the "Moderate Party, is more pro-American than the social democrats and supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Swedish membership of "NATO. Reinfeldt visited President Bush at the White House on May 15, 2007.

Following President "Donald Trump's first "2020 presidential campaign rally at which he referred to "what's happening "last night in Sweden" the Swedish government requested clarification of from the U.S. State Department in regards to Trump's understanding of what was going on in Sweden.[8][9] On February 19, the "Cabinet of Sweden requested an explanation from the White House and the "Swedish Embassy in the United States offered to inform the US administration in the future about Swedish immigration and integration policies.[10] On February 23, the "Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs referred to discussions about Sweden's refugee policies as "simplistic and occasionally completely inaccurate."[11] On March 6, 2018 Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visited the United States and met with President Donald Trump.

Economic relations[edit]

The United States and Sweden have strong economic relations. The United States is currently the third-largest Swedish export trade partner,[12] and U.S. companies are the most represented foreign companies in Sweden.

Military relations[edit]

Although Sweden has a longstanding policy of political neutrality in international affairs, Sweden is a participant in the "Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Sweden currently participates with around 500 troops in the "International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), under the command of "NATO, in "Afghanistan. Four parties represented in the Parliament, the right-wing "Alliance (Sweden) support a NATO membership. During the "Libyan Civil War of 2011, the "Swedish Air Force worked closely with NATO and USA.

During the "Cold War, the Swedish government secretly made preparations to receive military aid from the United States in case of "Soviet aggression.[13]

Cultural links[edit]

Reflecting the fact that Sweden has a higher proportion of English speakers than most other countries which were never part of the "British Empire, Swedish producers and songwriters have played a significant role in the sound of American pop music since the 1990s. One in particular, "Max Martin, has written and produced more "Billboard Hot 100 number one hits than any American songwriter or producer.[14]

On February 18, 2017 President "Donald Trump made remarks that some interpreted as meaning that he thought a terrorist attack had recently occurred in Sweden, although he denied this and said he had been referring to a news report.[9][8][15][16] The "Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC requested clarification from the U.S. State Department.[9][8] On February 19, Trump explained on "Twitter that his statement was based on a February 17 interview on "Fox News about immigration in Sweden.[9]

List of visits[edit]

Guest Host Place of visit Date of visit
"Sweden "Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf - Later King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden. "United States President "Calvin Coolidge "John Ericsson National Memorial &
The "White House, Washington, D.C.
May 29, 1926
"Sweden "Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
"Sweden "Crown Princess Louise
"United States President "Franklin D. Roosevelt "Wilmington, Delaware
"Springwood, "Hyde Park, New York
June 27, 1938
July 1, 1938
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Tage Erlander "United States President "Harry S. Truman "White House, Washington, D.C. April 14, 1952
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Tage Erlander "United States President "Dwight D. Eisenhower "White House, Washington, D.C. November 24, 1954
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Tage Erlander "United States President "John F. Kennedy "White House, Washington, D.C. March 29, 1961
"United States "Vice President "Lyndon B. Johnson "Sweden "King Gustaf VI Adolf "Uppsala Cathedral & "Uppsala Castle, "Uppsala, Sweden September 29, 1961
"United States "Vice President "Lyndon B. Johnson "Sweden "King Gustaf VI Adolf
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Tage Erlander
"Sofiero Palace, "Helsingborg, Sweden
Kanslihuset, "Stockholm, Sweden
September 4, 1963
September 5, 1963
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Tage Erlander
"Sweden "Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
"United States President "Lyndon B. Johnson
"United States "Mrs. John F. Kennedy
"Cathedral of St. Matthews &
The "White House, Washington, D.C.
November 25, 1963
"Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf "United States President "Gerald Ford "White House, Washington, D.C. April 5, 1976[17]
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Ola Ullsten "United States President "Jimmy Carter
"United States "Vice President "Walter Mondale
"White House, Washington, D.C. January 18, 1979
"United States "Vice President "Walter Mondale "Sweden "Prime Minister "Ola Ullsten Kanslihuset, "Stockholm, Sweden May 1979
"Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf "United States President "Ronald Reagan "White House, Washington, D.C. November 22, 1981
"United States "Vice President "George H.W. Bush "Sweden "Prime Minister "Olof Palme "Rosenbad, "Stockholm, Sweden June 27, 1983
"United States "First Lady "Nancy Reagan "Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf "Stockholm, Sweden June 1987
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Ingvar Carlsson "United States President "Ronald Reagan "White House, Washington, D.C. September 9, 1987
"Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf "United States President "Ronald Reagan "White House, Washington, D.C. April 11, 1988
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Carl Bildt "United States President "George H. W. Bush "White House, Washington, D.C. February 20, 1992
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Carl Bildt "United States President "Bill Clinton "White House, Washington, D.C. December 1, 1993
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Göran Persson "United States President "Bill Clinton "White House, Washington, D.C. August 6, 1996
"United States President "George W. Bush "Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Göran Persson
"Gunnebo Slott, Residenset &
"Svenska Mässan, "Gothenburg, Sweden
June 14, 2001
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Göran Persson "United States President "George W. Bush "White House, Washington, D.C. December 3, 2001
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Göran Persson "United States President "George W. Bush "White House, Washington, D.C. April 28, 2004
"Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf "United States President "George W. Bush "White House, Washington, D.C. October 23, 2006
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Fredrik Reinfeldt "United States President "George W. Bush "White House, Washington, D.C. May 15, 2007
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Fredrik Reinfeldt "United States President "Barack Obama "White House, Washington, D.C. November 2, 2009
"United States President "Barack Obama "Sweden "King Carl XVI Gustaf
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Fredrik Reinfeldt
"Rosenbad, "Royal Institute of Technology, "Stockholm Synagogue &
the "Royal Palace, "Stockholm, Sweden
September 4–5, 2013
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Stefan Löfven "United States President "Barack Obama "White House, Washington, D.C., "Arlington National Cemetery[18] May 13, 2016[19]
"Sweden "Prime Minister "Stefan Löfven "United States President "Donald Trump "White House, Washington, D.C. March 6, 2018

See also[edit]


  2. ^ "About the Embassy". Embassy of Sweden, Pyongyang. In particular, Sweden functions as Protective Power for the United States ... including consular responsibility for citizens. 
  3. ^ "American Memory from the Library of Congress". Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Andersson, Stellan. "Olof Palme och Vietnamfrågan 1965–1983" (in Swedish). olofpalme.org. Retrieved February 27, 2008. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Riksdagens snabbprotokoll 2001/02:13 Onsdagen den 17 oktober Protokoll 2001/02:13 - Riksdagen". Riksdagen.se. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ [2]["dead link]
  8. ^ a b c Topping, Alexandra. "'Sweden, who would believe this?': Trump cites non-existent terror attack". The Guardian. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d Jennifer Calfas (February 19, 2017), Sweden offers to teach Trump about its immigration policies, The Hill, retrieved February 23, 2017 
  10. ^ Embassy of Sweden US [@SwedeninUSA] (19 February 2017). "We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies" (Tweet) – via "Twitter. 
  11. ^ "Facts about migration and crime in Sweden". Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. February 23, 2017. Archived from the original on February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  12. ^ Exports to large trade partners Archived March 30, 2010, at the "Wayback Machine., Statistics Sweden, accessed October 14, 2007.
  13. ^ SOU 1994:11 Om kriget kommit... Förberedelser för mottagande av militärt bistånd 1949–1969
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ Ekman, Jonas. "In English: This happened in Sweden Friday night, Mr President". Aftonbladet. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  16. ^ Sewell Chan (February 19, 2017), ‘Last Night in Sweden’? Trump’s Remark Baffles a Nation, "The New York Times, retrieved February 19, 2017 
  17. ^ Memorandum of Conversation "Gerald R. Ford Library, Accessed on May 17, 2010
  18. ^ Holmqvist, Anette (May 13, 2016). "Stefan Löfven anländer till Vita huset" [Stefan Löfven arrives at the White House]. "Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Statement by the Press Secretary on the U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit". "White House Office of the Press Secretary. March 18, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]

"" Media related to Relations of Sweden and the United States at Wikimedia Commons

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