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Nov 23, 2017 |

Nov 23, 2017 |

Nov 23, 2017 | 9:05 pm EST

WSJ.com: What's News US

Lucia Trade Award

The Lucia Trade Award

The annual award is alternately given to a Swede and an American who has significantly contributed to fostering free trade between the two nations.

Instituted in 1988, the Lucia Trade Award commemorates the 350th anniversary of the first Swedish settlement in the United States. Like Saint Lucia herself, the award symbolizes light, hope and peace.

Each year, the Award is given to a person who has significantly contributed to fostering free trade between the U.S. and Sweden. It affirms a philosophy of peace through trade, and acknowledges that interdependence, cooperation and communication enhance mutual understanding. U.S. President Ronald Reagan was the inaugural recipient of the award, followed by H.R.H Prince Bertil, the first Swedish recipient.

The Award itself is an intriguing glass sculpture by Bertil Vallien, world renowned Swedish designer of Orrefors Kosta Boda crystal. Entitled “The Voyage”, the award is a 20-inch long sculpture in the form of a seafaring trade vessel. Captured within the hull of the ship are allegorical reference to the Swedish-American trade relations and the spirit of the Lucia tradition.

Included within the crystal sculpture is a vivid blue and yellow representation of the Swedish flag, a glass “parcel” signifying goods and free trade, a key-shaped metal object symbolizing “open doors” and the “Key of Kalmar (Kalmar Nyckel), the first ship that brought Swedish emigrants to America. Several free-floating stars represent America.

Recipients include: 

1987: Ronald W. Reagan 40th President of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States, was the first recipient of the Lucia Trade Award. The Award was presented in the Oval Office of the White House, in recognition of his "persuasive advocacy and unstinting efforts on behalf of free trade and communication in furtherance if mankind's ceaseless quest for a better life and peace for all."

Born in 1911 in Tampica, Mr. Reagan graduated from Eureka College and, following a brief career as a sports broadcaster, he moved to California to work in motion pictures. Mr. Reagan's film career spanned nearly 30 years. He appeared in 53 feature films, served six terms as President of the Screen Actors Guild and two terms as President of the Motion Picture Industry Council.

Mr. Reagan was overwhelmingly elected President of the in 1980. He articulated a clear vision of American national purpose based on his conviction that the represented the "last, best hope" for human freedom, dignity, and democracy in the world. In 1984 he won a landslide reelection, carrying 49 of 50 states. During his presidency, he successfully lowered the tax structure and championed business growth, allowing the largest peacetime economic prosperity in its history.

Mr. Reagan rebuilt America's military and his policy of "Peace through Strength" brought the Soviets to the negotiating table, culminating in the historic INF Treaty. Mr. Reagan was one of the most popular presidents in the nation's history. His influence on world affairs and his belief in the potential of the American people will continue to be felt for generations to come.

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