Sending Office: Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Sent By:
Erik.Kinney@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague:

In 1996 the Arctic Council was established as an intergovernmental forum to facilitate cooperation among several nations whose landmass extends into the Arctic Circle. These nations include Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and the
United States.

The North Pole is home to 15% of the world’s crude oil supply and a third of its undiscovered natural gas. The 2016 value of Alaska’s mineral industry alone was $2.83 billion. Because of the abundance of these crucial natural resources, several nations have
attempted to expand their claims to the region in order to gain access to these fuels. In recent years, nations like Russia and China have begun taking more assertive actions within the Arctic Circle.

In 2013, China was invited to become a permanent observer to the Arctic Council. This decision gave China greater impetus to be more economically and diplomatically active in the Arctic region. China’s position on the Council, combined with their Belt and
Road Initiative, gives one of the U.S.’ largest competitors even greater influence in global affairs.

Due to the growing importance of issues pertaining to Arctic policy, I believe it is paramount that the Congress conducts significant oversight. Through Presidential appointment and the Senate’s confirmation process, the Congress will have greater input
over United States’ Arctic policies. Therefore, I am introducing the United States Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs Act. The new Ambassador would represent the United States in all matters that are relevant to Arctic affairs and show
the world that the United States is making the Arctic region a national priority.

We need to show the Arctic Council, as well as the rest of the world, that the United States recognizes the importance of the affairs of the Arctic Circle. The Center for Strategic Studies concluded in a

2019 report
, that “the greatest failing of U.S. policy has been its reluctance to understand the strategic implications of great power competition in the Arctic.” As several nations, especially Russia and China, attempt to increase their clout globally,
the United States must do what is necessary to remain a leader in the international community.

For more information on the legislation, or to be added as an original cosponsor, please contact Erik Kinney in my office at
erik.kinney@mail.house.gov, or by calling x5-5101.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Energy, Foreign Affairs, Trade

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