Trump budget includes proposal for US Consulate in Greenland

Trump budget includes proposal for US Consulate in Greenland

President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE has earmarked money for opening a full-time U.S. Consulate in Greenland in his budget proposal, continuing his push for added American presence on the world's largest island.

According to the proposal, $587,000 would be used to "establish a permanent diplomatic presence in Greenland."

In December, Denmark, of which Greenland is an autonomous territory, gave Washington the OK to move forward with the consulate-building process. 


“We continue, together with Greenland, the dialogue with the United States about development in the Arctic and the close cooperation on U.S. engagement in Greenland,” Denmark's foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, said at the time.

The approval came after reports in August said that Trump had asked aides to look into buying Greenland from Denmark. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea "absurd." Shortly after, Trump canceled a scheduled trip to the country and indicated that his decision was related to Frederiksen's response.

Greenland is sparsely populated, with just under 60,000 residents, but is rich in rare earth minerals that are essential to producing high-demand tech products such as smartphones, satellites and electric cars.

Because of this, the earmark is likely to receive healthy bipartisan support.

The U.S. isn't the only country that wants to increase its influence on the island. Last year, the Pentagon was able to beat out a bid from China to build airports on the island.

“I don’t think it’s going to be that controversial," a Republican congressional aide told Politico. "The way you crowd out China and Russia is you work with the Danes, which is what we did when we successfully blocked that Chinese airport being built in southern Greenland."

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (R-Alaska) first brought up the idea to build a permanent U.S. Consulate in Greenland in 2017. 

“A consulate will be able to better represent the United States’ interests on the ground and in person, as well as provide for a better understanding of Greenland’s perspectives," Murkowski's spokeswoman, Karina Borger, told the publication.

"With the growing level of interest in the Arctic from around the globe, the best way to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to the region is through a greater physical presence," she added.

The U.S. last had a permanent consulate on the island from 1940 to 1953.