The Future of U.S.-Icelandic Relations in 2021

On February 12, 2021 the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with Fiserv to host a virtual conversation with H.E. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, for a discussion on the current U.S.-Iceland economic relationship.

Minister Thordarson has been a member of the Althing (Iceland's parliament) for the Independence Party since 2003 and served as the Minister of Health from May 2007 to February 2009.  He represented Reykjavik North from 2003-2009, and has served as Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs since January 2017.

In his remarks, Minister Thordarson expressed that he expects to see improvement in the bilateral relationship and encourages the Biden Administration to deepen the United States’ economic ties through a bilateral free trade agreement. Minister Thordarson cited that the United States is Iceland’s largest trading partner, and that legislation to strengthen its relationship was already introduced in Congress under the Trump Administration. Throughout the webinar, the Minister continued to emphasis that defining the economic relationship would present opportunities in various sectors such as green energy. Iceland is a leader in green energy and has the capability to export its green technology to the United States. Iceland has already started this process by partnering with China’s Sinopec and acquiring a $250 million loan from the Asian Development Back to increase China’s geothermal resources. Minister Thordarson noted he is impressed with the Biden Administration's recent effects to merge climate and economic development, and he hopes that continued engagement will ensure prosperity for the people of Iceland and the United States.

Project summary

The Future of U.S.-Icelandic Relations in 2021 | February 2021
Number of Attendees: 36
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Iceland
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Diplomacy
Partners: Private Sector