Late 2011, U.S. Congressional Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) announced the formation of the 112th Congressional Caucus*, the Swedish Congressional Caucus, whose mission is to preserve and promote the economic and cultural ties between the United States and the Kingdom of Sweden.
The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce in the USA has been working with the Swedish Embassy in the U.S. to support their mission, and as recently as May 4th, we arranged an event on Capitol Hill for all of our regional chambers, partners and members of the caucus to kick off our future collaboration. Read about Congressman Hultgren´s interest in Sweden and his plans for the caucus in three brief questions below:
1. What is the Congressional Swedish Caucus?
The Congressional Swedish Caucus exists to promote economic and cultural ties with the Kingdom of Sweden and the United States. The caucus is comprised of Members of Congress and is a bicameral body, so we have members from both the House and Senate Chambers. The caucus functions as a bi-partisan platform for US-Swedish interests; it is not affiliated with any one particular political party.
2. Why Sweden?
My great grandparents all came from Sweden. My dad learned Swedish as a young boy and is still fluent. While so many European countries are struggling through tough economic times, Sweden has been thriving because of courageous decisions made by past and present leaders. I think we have a lot to learn from the Swedes and we can and should have a mutually beneficial friendship.
3. What are your plans for the Swedish Congressional Caucus throughout the year?
We will be hosting briefings and events on Capitol Hill that will effectively foster the relationship between the US and Sweden. At the moment, there is lot of great research and innovation going on in Sweden. I want to bring some of that research to the US to create jobs and grow both of our economies. The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce has already helped us in starting this discussion and I’d like to continue it through 2012 and beyond.
Also, on November 14, 2012 the caucus will have its one year anniversary. I’m looking forward to celebrating that – hopefully with the caucus members and Ambassador Hafstrom!
For now, I would like to congratulate Sweden on the Swedish National Day!
*Caucus – An interest group (intressegrupp) in the U.S. Congress where members can come together around certain issues and interests that are important for their constituents