Kudlow says White House is 'looking at' trying to buy Greenland
By FELICIA SONMEZ AND DAMIAN PALETTA | The Washington Post | Published: August 18, 2019
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday confirmed that the Trump administration is exploring trying to buy the country of Greenland, noting that the self-governing country is a "strategic place" that is rich in minerals.
"It's developing. We're looking at it," Kudlow said on "Fox News Sunday." "Denmark owns Greenland. Denmark is an ally. Greenland is a strategic place ... I'm just saying the president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look."
President Donald Trump's desire to buy Greenland, which is part of the kingdom of Denmark, was first reported last week by the Wall Street Journal. Two people with direct knowledge of the directive told The Washington Post that Trump has mentioned the idea for weeks, and aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.
Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark in two weeks. In the days since news of Trump's interest in Greenland broke, the idea has been ridiculed by politicians in Denmark, and Greenland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that the island is not for sale.
"Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism," the ministry said in a tweet. "We're open for business, not for sale."
Kudlow noted Sunday that after World War II, President Harry Truman's administration offered to purchase Greenland from Denmark for $100 million. The U.S. military had a presence in Greenland during the war as a means to protect the continent if Germany tried to attack.
With melting ice making the region more accessible, the United States has been firm in trying to counter any moves by Russia and China in the Arctic. China declared itself a "near-Arctic nation" last year and has defended its desire for a "Polar Silk Road" in which Chinese goods would be delivered by sea from Asia to Europe.
China recently sought to bankroll the construction of three airports in Greenland, drawing concern from then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and prompting the Pentagon to make the case to Denmark that it should fund the facilities itself rather than rely on Beijing.