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Zicht op het Amerikaanse congres vanaf the Mall.
Zicht op het Amerikaanse congres vanaf the Mall.

Key areas for discussion for the delegation will include the transatlantic relationship between the US and Europe and bilateral relations between the Netherlands and the US. In addition, the visit will focus on  US political and social developments, views on conflict regions (Middle East, Afghanistan and Venezuela), the relationship with Russia and China and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Current trade disputes will also be subject of discussion.

Close ties

The last working visit by a Dutch parliamentary delegation to Washington was in October 2007. Politically, economically and strategically, the US is a close ally of the Netherlands. Historically, the two countries also have close links. Since President Trump took office, there have been significant changes in the political and social situation in the United States and in its government's international stance. Recent elections for Congress have added a new dimension to this.

Pennsylvania

In addition to meetings in Washington D.C. (at Congress, the State Department, the Pentagon and at various think tanks), the programme will also include a visit to the nearby state of Pennsylvania. This swing state faces major social problems, which are partly a result of the decline of the steel industry. The delegation will pay a visit to the town of Johnstown and the city of Pittsburgh.

Delegation

The delegation will consist of:

  • Pia Dijkstra (chair of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, delegation leader)
  • Sven Koopmans (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVD)
  • Raymond de Roon (Party for Freedom, PVV)
  • Lenny Geluk-Poortvliet (Christian Democratic Party, CDA)
  • Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (Democrats 66, D66)
  • Bram van Ojik (Green Left)
  • Sadet Karabulut (Socialist Party, SP)
  • Joël Voordewind (Christian Union,).