Category Archives: News from Trade Council


New Danish-US Export Strategy

The new action plan “Growth through Export: Denmark-USA” presents 23 growth initiatives to increase Danish exports to the US by 25 percent by the end of 2016. Total exports to the United States accounts for 100 billion DKK (approx. 17 Billion USD), which is about 10 percent of total Danish exports.

The United States is emerging from the financial crisis and now expects the economy to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2018. Hence, the 23 initiatives will be implemented to help Danish companies embrace the potential in the U.S. market.

The timing of the growth plan could not have been better as Danish competencies and American demand for solutions increasingly overlap in a number of industries. For example, the US is interested in a more efficient handling of water resources and new energy technologies, such as renewables. Moreover, the United States is the world’s largest market for organic food. With a successful signing of The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the opportunities for Danish Companies will only increase.

The 23 new growth initiatives have been developed in collaboration with the Danish business community and public organizations operating in the business sphere in order to mirror Denmark’s lead in these sectors. The outcome is an action plan structured around the sectors with the largest growth potential: Green Energy, Oil & Gas, Health & Life Sciences, Information & Communications Technology, Food, Design, and Shipping.

The new Water Technology Alliance, for example, offers solutions on waste water handling and thereby tab into the 3,400 billion liters of recyclable water wasted from a shortage of US cleansing facilities. The cluster of Danish food companies is another sector specific alliance to improve access to US retailers.

To capitalize on opportunities in the Health & Life Sciences sector, the Trade Council will increase marketing of Danish strengths, initiate a closer contact between the Danish pharmaceutical industry and key American stakeholders, and promote investment opportunities for American companies in Denmark.

Read more about the growth plan (only in Danish).


The Trade Council in Washington D.C.

Get to know the advisors at the Trade Council in Washington D.C.



Name: Lina Gandløse Hansen

Counselor, Trade and Investment at the Embassy of Denmark, Washington D.C. Lina has been with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2004. Before coming to Washington D.C. she was Deputy Director in Invest in Denmark and has also been engaged in Trade Council and Invest in Denmark in Copenhagen and Paris. Lina is an expert in innovation and business strategy and holds a Masters degree from Copenhagen Business School. Lina is currently responsible for the coordination of Trade Council activities in the U.S.

IMG_3071 Name: Elizabeth Dempsey Becker

Elizabeth (Liz) joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September 2013 as Senior Advisor, Healthcare & Life Sciences in the Trade Council. In this role she advises and supports companies on commercial opportunities and regulatory challenges in the U.S. Liz is a member of the Trade Council’s global healthcare team and key account manager for Bavarian Nordic. Liz has more than 25 years of experience in business development, marketing and public affairs from management positions with Bavarian Nordic and Novo Nordisk in Denmark and Exxon in the USA. She holds an MPA degree from Harvard University.

personelphotoCA2VL1TN Name: Charlotte Nytoft

Charlotte Nytoft has been with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since November 2007. Charlotte has more than 20 years of international trade experience from various industries, including 6 years with the procurement division at one of the world’s largest FMCG/e-Commerce businesses. Charlotte is a Senior Commercial Advisor at the Trade Council North America’s Energy & Environment Team and holds a bachelor degree in internationalization and management. Over the years, Charlotte has executed traditional market studies and concept tests for Danish companies, she has identified sales- and distributions channels, identified partners and established contact to key decision makers in the US, introduced and established connections to Danish clients, which has led to valuable relationships.

 mp Name: Mary Paul Smith Jespersen

Mary Paul has been with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since February 2008 as a commercial and regulatory expert. Mary Paul has been involved in energy and environmental issues for over 30 years and is now a part of the Trade Council’s energy and environment team. She has extensive international experience and has lived in Asia and Europe as well as the United States.  She has many years of political activity, which gives her an extensive network at all levels of government.  She received her M.Sc from the London School of Economics and Political Science in European Studies and began work toward a PhD in West European Government. Mary Paul now serves as a Senior Commerical Advisor and Executive Secretary of the American-Danish Business Council.

 Per lyse Name: Per Lyse Rasmussen

Lieutenant Colonel Per Lyse Rasmussen took the position of Assistant Defense Attaché at the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington D.C. in July 2003. He added the position of Defense Industrial Cooperation Attaché in 2007. Prior to that Per was with the Danish Ministry of Defense in Denmark, where he worked with procurement and logistics as the Deputy Head of Office. His work involves identifying opportunities for Danish companies within the American Defense sector, Department of Homeland Security including the US Coast Guard and the Veterans Administration.

personelphotoCA6BBH17 Name: Steen Steensen

Steen has been with the Embassy since 2010 specialising in protecting and promoting the general Danish food and agricultural interests in the US. Steen has a background over 34 years in the service of the Trade Council and Ministry of Food and Agriculture, where he has spent many years abroad in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe working as Commercial Counsellor and Minister Counsellor for Food & Agriculture. In the Danish Trade Council Steen is Key Account Coordinator for the cooperation with The Danish Meat Council and he is serving as co-chairman in the Global Food Safety Technical Working Group which Denmark supports in the World Bank.






Denmark at the forefront in the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C.

Danish Minister for Health Astrid Krag, giving her key note speech

The 5th annual mHealth Summit conference brought together more than 5,500 healthcare and technology leaders to discuss over 4 days the latest innovations and thinking in the field of mobile healthcare technology. Denmark was well-represented with the Health Bridge 2013 delegation of more than 80 representatives from industry and public organizations and the presence of Danish Minister for Health Astrid Krag, as a keynote speaker.

In her remarks, the Minister highlighted the application of mobile technology already in use in Denmark and referred to its further application in patient engagement, improved chronic care services, and more health and wellness services within the national healthcare plan. The minister emphasized how digitization has improved and strengthened the communication between the various parts of the healthcare system in Denmark and therefore it significance in the national health care system.


While snow closed all federal buildings, the minister was still able to meet with Secretary Sebelius to discuss issues of common interest. Secretary Sebelius has been a central member in President Obama’s Administration since 2009, and a significant proponent in the passage of his Health Care reform package which has become one of the defining legacies of his presidency.

Minister Krag also met with healthcare experts from The Brookings Institution in a roundtable format that also included New York State’s Health Commissioner Nirav Shah. The Minister was updated on the current changes in the US healthcare system as a result of President Obama’s healthcare reform.

The Benefits of Conducting Antitrust Audits

Why Are Antitrust Audits Important?
The risks of violating antitrust laws have never been higher, with enhanced cross-border coordination of investigations, ever increasing financial penalties, litigation, criminal sanctions and damage to shareholder value and customer goodwill.  There is also exposure to significant civil liability from follow-on class action lawsuits, which include automatic treble damages in the United States.  Furthermore, an increasing number of countries worldwide are adopting, proposing or strengthening antitrust enforcement.  Over 120 countries now have some form of antitrust law, including Denmark.

This toughened enforcement environment has prompted companies to undertake antitrust audits to assess and manage antitrust risks and ensure antitrust compliance.  When properly designed and targeted to a company’s specific operations, antitrust audits can reveal possible areas of exposure, determine the nature and extent of potential antitrust law violations, identify business practices that present heightened risks, and assess the effectiveness of a company’s antitrust compliance.

Most significantly, where an antitrust audit uncovers a potential criminal violation, the company has the likely advantage of being the first conspirator to discover the conduct and the opportunity to enter the DOJ Antitrust Division’s leniency program and face no fine, no prison time for anyone in the company, and a possible single damages limitation in follow-on civil litigation in the United States.  Effective compliance programs that include routine audits can also help companies manage legal risks that may arise in association with investigations by other federal agencies for non-antitrust violations, such as the SEC and the DOJ Criminal Division.

What Is An Antitrust Audit?
An antitrust audit is a review of business activities and practices aimed to detect actual or potential violations of antitrust laws before a company faces an investigation or challenge by a third party or government antitrust authority.  Antitrust audits can also help to identify business practices that present risks and assess the effectiveness of a company’s antitrust compliance and training.

What Are The Key Risk Areas?
Cartels or agreements between competitors to fix prices or other terms and conditions, to share markets, or to rig bids have traditionally been regarded as the most serious antitrust violations.

However, the antitrust laws cover more than just cartel activity and include areas such as: distribution; pricing; strategic transaction; and information exchanges.

Companies with market power also need to be vigilant that their conduct does not conflict with prohibitions on abuse of market power or “dominance,” which is an area where the antitrust laws differ most internationally.

When Might An Antitrust Audit Be Appropriate?
Answers to the following questions will assist a company to determine whether an antitrust audit is appropriate:

  • Whether the industry sector is “high risk” for antitrust issues.  Factors include: highly concentrated markets; standardized/commodity products; minimal competition on price; pricing changes by industry participants that are close in time; stable or declining markets; purchasing and/or supply agreements with competitors; joint ventures; or other interactions with competitors such as in trade associations.
  • Whether the industry sector is subject to or has a history of investigation by a government antitrust authority.
  • Whether there is a proposed or pending investigation or litigation raising antitrust issues.
  • Whether the company has conducted an antitrust audit in the recent past (e.g., within five years).
  • Whether the company is confident that all employees are familiar with their antitrust compliance responsibilities and company procedures.
  • Whether the company has undergone recent major reorganization (e.g., acquisition of a new business, business expansion into new territories and products/services, new procedures, new hires, or staff redeployment).

Who Should Conduct An Antitrust Audit?
If a company decides that an antitrust audit is appropriate, it should engage counsel that has a degree of independence and deep familiarity with the principles of antitrust law to recognize some of the subtleties of antitrust issues.

It is also important to have counsel oversee and conduct the audit to ensure that the company can resist disclosure of communications produced during and for the purposes of the audit in court, regulatory, or investigatory proceedings.  Note that the precise scope of legal privilege tends to differ depending on the jurisdiction.

What To Do If The Audit Uncovers Evidence Of A Possible Antitrust Violation?
If the audit uncovers an actual or potential antitrust violation, legal counsel should be involved in the assessment of the extent and gravity of the risk and the steps to be taken.  The following are among the risk mitigation strategies that may be considered following an audit:

  • Considering how the company might improve its internal procedures and training.
  • Conducting a risk assessment for making a disclosure to a relevant antitrust authority to apply for amnesty from the imposition of potential penalties where the company is the first to come forward with material evidence on an antitrust violation.

For more information, please contact:

JeffreyS.Spigel, Partner

Phone:  (202) 626-2626


BrianR.Meiners, Counsel

Phone:  (202) 626-2910


King & Spalding

1700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC  20006

Trade Council Atlanta’s New Offices

The Trade Council of Den- mark in Atlanta opened its doors to partners, business associates and friends. The reception marked the official inauguration of the new offices located at 3630 Peachtree Road N.E. These new premises also host a number of Danish businesses through the Trade Council’s Accelerator program, as well as the Danish American Chamber of Commerce.

The reception was held in connection with a management meeting for the board of Trade Council North America hosted by Trade Commissioner Carsten Rosendahl. Attending were members of the Management Team from the Danish missions in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C.

The doors opened at 5.00 pm and the guest had the opportunity to mingle and enjoy re- freshments provided by a local Danish caterer. Trade Commissioner Carsten Rosendahl held the opening speech, welcoming everyone to the new premises and presenting each Trade Council Board member including the Ambassador of Den- mark to the USA, Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen. The Ambassador talked about the long history of diplomatic ties between Denmark and the State of Georgia and the importance of these, as well as the work of the Trade Council and its partners. After the speeches the guests toured the office.

It was a great evening marking the importance of the Danish presence in Atlanta (established in 1968) with about 60 attending guests and a very nice atmosphere.

Denmark Makes its Expert Knowledge Available to the State of Maryland

The Trade Council has been involved in the planning of the new offshore wind farm in Maryland.

“At a very early stage Maryland was in contact with us in Chicago to learn about how
to best build an offshore wind farm,” says Claus Andersen, director of the Trade
Council’s Wind Energy Advisory team, which is headquartered
in Chicago. “From there, it was natural that we became government advisors on the project.”

This means that Danish companies have unique access to new contracts when America’s
first offshore wind farm is to be built on the U.S. East Coast.

The United States is the world’s second largest emitter
of greenhouse gases. However, President Obama wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 17 percent by 2020 compared to the level in 2005. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently introduced a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in his state 25% by 2020. A 200 MW offshore wind project will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by over 378,000 tons per year and promises improved public health outcomes, cleaner air and cleaner water. The
President’s Climate Plan includes a goal to issue permits for 10 GW renewables on public lands – including federal seabed. This is equivalent to 25 times the size of
Anholt Offshore Wind Farm.

Several US states are planning to take advantage of the wind resources off US coasts but so far none of the projects have materialized to mature wind farms contributing to the US power grid. This is partly due to uncertainty on tender conditions and operation that have prompted most investors to stay away.

In the National Budget 2013, the Government and the Alliance set aside five million Danish Kroner [approx. USD 1 million] over two years to establish bilateral cooperation with one or two industrialized countries. The funds will primarily be used to remunerate Danish energy experts and to a lesser extent external advisors. The offshore wind farm off Maryland has been selected as the first project.

The cooperation will be on issues related to regulating and managing the risks associated with Maryland’s tender for establishing an offshore wind farm of 200 MW. The implementing regulation for the offshore wind farm must be prepared by next summer and it is expected that other US coastal states with plans to exploit wind resources could benefit from the experiences generated though the cooperation between Denmark and Maryland.

Claus Andersen hopes that the Danish wind industry will take advantage of the close link between the Danish and American authorities. Several states have been instructed
to reduce their CO2 – emissions up to 30% by 2025.

“This is really just the beginning of a U.S. offshore industry and through the Trade Council’s Wind Energy Advisory in Chicago Denmark has the opportunity to become
involved right from the start. I hope that companies will seize this opportunity,” says Claus Andersen.