Welcome to the Ask the Ambassador portion of our blog. We have received many questions and comments from not just across the United States, but also from different regions of the world. This blog will feature questions that express common themes running throughout the questions we receive.
This week, Gohar from Miami, Florida asked the Ambassador about specific trade relationships and quota restrictions. He asks:
"I was wondering if there are any apparel quota restrictions for Sweden/EU? What are the trade relationships with Sweden? Are there any specific trades and investments between the US and Sweden?"
Ambassador Kirk responds:
"There are no quota restrictions for apparel imports from Sweden or the European Union. Sweden is our 34th largest goods trading partner.
There are numerous Swedish companies invested in the U.S., providing jobs for American workers. The Department of Commerce estimates that approximately 179,000 jobs in the U.S. are provided by Swedish companies. Some examples, according to FDI markets, are below:
Dometic, an international manufacturer of recreational vehicle accessories, will soon be opening a plant in LaGrange, Indiana. This new manufacturing operation will create 116 positions.
Nova Bus recently opened a new bus manufacturing plan in Plattsburgh, New York. This plant will eventually employ over 400 American workers.
The retail store Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) will open their first store in Kentucky in October. The store, located in Florence, will provide various retail positions.
Swebo Bioenergy, a heating and electricity production company, will open its first store in the U.S. this fall. The office, located in Annapolis, Maryland, will be the U.S. headquarters for the organization. Shortly after opening, the office will employ up to 25 positions, with expansion in the future.
The city of Flint, Michigan recently signed a 21-year agreement with Swedish Biogas to build a biogas city wastewater treatment plant. The plant will also work in conjunction with car companies to use the biogas to power automobiles. The organization began construction on the plant this month, and it will be completed in June 2010. The biogas production side of the plant will begin fall of next year.
In 2008, the U.S. imported $12.5 billion worth of goods from Sweden, and exported $5.0 billion worth of goods to Sweden.
Gohar, thank you for your question. As you can see, there is a strong trade relationship between the U.S. and Sweden."
Thank you for the questions this week. We look forward to continuing our open dialogue on trade.