Netherlands–United States relations

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Netherlands – United States relations
Map indicating locations of Netherlands and USA


United States
Diplomatic Mission
Dutch Embassy, Washington, D.C. United States Embassy, The Hague
Former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and former United States Ambassador Roland Arnall

Netherlands – United States relations are used to describe the relations of the United States and the Netherlands. The countries were described by former President George W. Bush as "brother nations" and by current President Barack Obama as "closest friends which friendship will never die". Obama has also said that, "Without the Netherlands there wouldn't be a United States of America as everyone knows it now".

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 60% of Dutch people approve of U.S. leadership, the fifth-highest rating for any surveyed country in Europe.[1]


The U.S. partnership with the Netherlands is one of its oldest continuous relationships and dates back to the American Revolution. Starting in the late 16th century, the Dutch and other Europeans began to colonize the eastern coast of North America. The Dutch named their territory New Netherlands, which became a province of the Dutch Republic in 1624. The Dutch colonial settlement of New Amsterdam later became New York City. The present-day flag of New York City is based on the flag of Republic of the United Netherlands.[citation needed]

The Netherlands was the first foreign country to salute the American Flag on November 16, 1776[2] and therefore the first foreign nation to (unofficially) recognize the United States as an independent nation. On 19 April 1782 John Adams was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. The house that Adams purchased in The Hague became the first American embassy in the world.[3] The bilateral relations between the two nations are based on historical and cultural ties as well as a common dedication to individual freedom and human rights. The Netherlands shares with the United States a liberal economic outlook and is committed to free trade. The Netherlands is the fifth-largest direct foreign investor in the United States,[4] and the Dutch-American trade and investment relationship is supporting close to 625,000 American jobs[5] with Texas, California and Pennsylvania benefiting most from these Economic Ties. The United States is the third-largest direct foreign investor in the Netherlands.

The United States and the Netherlands often have similar positions on issues and work together both bilaterally and multilaterally in such institutions as the United Nations and NATO. The Dutch have worked with the United States at the World Trade Organization, in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as within the European Union to advance the shared US goal of a more open and market-led world economy.

The United States participated greatly in the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi Germany during World War II. Both nations joined NATO as charter members in 1949. The Dutch were allies with the United States in the Korean War and the first Gulf War and have been active in global peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Netherlands also support and participate in NATO and EU training efforts in Iraq. Until August 1, 2010 they were active participants in the International Security Assistance Force and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Diplomatic missions[edit]

US Consulate General in Amsterdam

Dutch missions[edit]

Since 2011, the Dutch Ambassador to the United States is Rudolf Bekink. The Dutch missions in the United States number an embassy and five consular offices:

The American embassy in The Hague

American missions[edit]

Since 2014, the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands is Tim Broas. The United States missions in the Netherlands, has an embassy and a consulate general:


The American Service-Members' Protection Act, passed in 2002 under President George W. Bush, grants the US president authorization to use "all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court." It has been derisively nicknamed The Hague Invasion Act, as it would in theory authorize the president of the United States to invade The Hague, which is the seat of the Dutch government and the seat of several international criminal courts, should they prosecute an American citizen or ally. The act is widely considered to be symbolic, and that the threat of invasion by the U.S. is unrealistic.[6]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Nordholt, Jan Willem Schulte, and Robert P. Swierenga. Bilateral Bicentennial: A History of Dutch-American Relations, 1782-1982 (1982) 279pp


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).[1]

External links[edit]