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9 Things You Might Miss If The Dutch Didn’t Trade With The US

The Netherlands has traded with Americans since 1614, even before the United States was its own country. Nearly $88 million in goods and services arrive in the US from the Dutch shores every day. In honor of 400 years of trade relations and the launch of the Netherlands American Business Council, here’s a list of things you might miss if the Dutch didn’t have their famous entrepreneurial spirit.

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1. Impeccable sound and image


Imagine your world if Philips, the global Dutch electronics innovator, hadn't invented the CD. You'd still be flipping over the cassette tape in your car stereo and using a ballpoint pen to take up the slack before pushing play. And since CDs are the precurser to DVDs and Blu-Ray, you'd still have to deal with warped taped and bad images. Who has that kind of time?

3. Real cheese


Yes, Americans love to slap processed cheese slices between a couple pieces of bread, drop it on a grill, and call it a grilled cheese, but let’s be honest with each other. Want a real grilled cheese sandwich? Nothing compares to Gouda, also known as "The World's Best Cheese," which the Dutch have been making for nearly 1,000 years.

5. Great tasting beer


Yes, the Dutch love beer, and they love selling their Amstel, Bavaria, Grolsch and Heineken to their American friends. Heineken actually is one of the world’s largest beer companies. In fact, only the US Army ships more goods across the Atlantic. Heineken also owns Dos Equis, so imagine how boring beer commercials would be without the "most interesting man in the world." Who’d remind you to stay thirsty? Bullfrogs?

6. Computer chips that make your world easier


Don’t think of the Dutch when it comes to computer chips? You should. The Netherlands has always been a fertile ground for great innovations. Company NXP is located in Eindhoven, home to the most patents in the world. One innovative Dutch chip in particular is especially popular in the US: the M7. Never heard of it? Your iPhone has. It’s the chip in your iPhone that interprets the motion data from your phone’s other components. In other words, you’d be lost without it.

7. Smooth navigating


Speaking of being lost, TomTom makes sure you aren't. This pioneer of GPS mapping pointed the world in the right direction with its digital mapping 20 years ago. Now, you have all the directions you'd need right there in your phone, something that might not have happened if it weren't for TomTom. You'd just be running around in circles.

8. Tulips!


These wonderful bursts of colorful blossoms may have originated in Turkey, but they have since become synonymous with the Netherlands. Imagine how less colorful your days would be without these lovely bulbs popping through the ground every spring. The best part? You buy them once, and they keep coming back. You don’t have to buy new flowers every year! You save a dime and have pretty flowers in your front yard. That’s almost as valuable as it is Dutch.

9. Dollar


OK, "dollar" may not be a good or service, but isn't it fitting that this American word comes from the Dutch daalder? Perhaps that's because the Dutch have traded goods, services, and knowledge with the US for 400 years. People in the Low Countries used "daalder" to refer to coins that were minted in Dutch provinces as early as 1538, and brought them to America when they settled New Netherland in the 17th century. Over the years daalder evolved into dollar. Just try and pronounce daalder a few times, and you 'll see how that could have happened.

Here’s to another 400 years of trade relations with our American partners!