Dutch Consulate in Chicago might close

The Dutch consulate in Chicago might close. The Dutch government is considering a package of austerity measures that includes closing five consulate world-wide, including the mission in Chicago.

The Michigan House and Senate approved resolutions urging the Kingdom of the Netherlands to reconsider the proposed closing of the Dutch Consulate General Office in Chicago and to retain a strong diplomatic presence in the Midwest region of the United States.

The Netherlands Club of Chicago also disagrees with the proposed closing. They point out that aside from providing consular services to Dutch services, the consulate is also important to maintain strong economic ties:

Closing the Chicago office would close doors politically for Dutch businesses that have settled in the Midwest, along with Dutch businesses that are looking for new opportunities in the region. Consider the economic importance of the Midwest: 25% of America's GNP is generated in the 14 states that it covers. Three of the states in the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan and Illinois) alone are responsible for 27% of all Dutch exports to the US and the region is a rapidly growing area overall. Thus, it is of strategic importance to maintain strong ties between our two countries geopolitically.

The Netherlands Club of Chicago has started a campaign to protest the planned closures. A decision by the Dutch government is expected soon. It is likely that the government will announce their austerity plans on Prinsjesdag, September 17.

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