Hoekstra reflects on becoming Netherlands ambassador

A March 8, 2016 AP file photo of former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra in Lansing.


ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The United States Senate unanimously confirmed former lakeshore congressman Peter Hoekstra as the ambassador to the Netherlands Thursday evening.

That means that he will soon be taking on a considerably different role in government than he has had before.

“As a Congressman I’m accountable to my constituents, but when I go out and make a decision I’m accountable to myself and accountable to the voters on Election Day,” he said. “As an ambassador, I’m accountable each and every day to the president of the United States to carry forward his or her policies, whatever they may be not my views,” Hoekstra said.

The history of America’s close relationship with the Netherlands is perhaps the most important part of the job.

“Our relationship with the Netherlands goes back 400 years. This is one of our few allies, maybe our only ally, that we’ve never fired a shot at in anger or in war so it’s a phenomenal relationship,” Hoekstra said. “The Dutch are the third largest investors here in the United States. Militarily, they’ve been aligned with us in fighting the threat from radical Islam, in dealing with Russia and those types of things. So the ambassador now goes in and is the steward of the relationship that was built on John Adams, who was the first ambassador to the Netherlands. You’re walking in his footsteps.”

Hoekstra will be sworn in the near future and take up residence in The Hague around the Jan. 1.