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Tom Cotton: The U.S. should buy Greenland

POLITICO logo POLITICO 8/26/2019 By Marianne LeVine

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called Monday for the United States to buy Greenland from Denmark, citing the potential economic benefits in purchasing the mineral-rich Arctic island territory.

In a New York Times op-ed, Cotton noted that the United States is not the only country interested in the island. China, Cotton warned, has also recognized Greenland’s economic potential by attempting to buy an American naval base there and by trying to build three airports.

Cotton’s op-ed comes as President Donald Trump has expressed interest in purchasing Greenland, which is an autonomous region of Denmark. Last week, Trump canceled a visit to Denmark, after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea “absurd.” But the United States is also planning to establish a consulate in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland- another sign of increased investment in the region.

Tom Cotton wearing a suit and tie: 190826_tom_cotton_ap_773.jpg © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo 190826_tom_cotton_ap_773.jpg Cotton last week also told a group in Arkansas that he urged the president to buy Greenland and met with the Danish ambassador about selling Greenland to the U.S.

“Greenland is rich in a wide array of mineral deposits, including rare-earth minerals — resources critical to our high-tech and defense industries,” Cotton wrote. “China currently dominates the market in these minerals and has threatened to withhold them from us to gain leverage in trade negotiations.”

The Arkansas Republican also suggested that the United States’ purchase of Greenland could benefit Greenland’s residents, arguing that the island currently lacks the infrastructure to take advantage of its natural resources. The United States’ acquisition of Greenland “would alleviate a significant financial burden on the Danish people while expanding opportunities for Greenlanders,” according to Cotton.

Cotton also said that purchasing Greenland would not be unusual and that the United States has a history of buying territories from other countries, including Alaska.

“Who today believes the acquisition of Alaska was ‘Seward’s folly’?,” Cotton asked. “On the contrary, it has been a great blessing to Alaskans and all Americans. Our nation has much to gain, as do the Danes and Greenlanders.”

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