The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland welcomed Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and a Congressional Delegation, which included Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee Richard Neal to a special reception hosted at the Westbury Hotel.
Speaker Pelosi addressed over 200 Chamber members on business linkages and the Good Friday Agreement in the context of the Brexit process.
Speaking about the business relationship, she said: "the United States of America and Ireland, we are big enough, large - and you have to be large enough to be impactful - and small enough to be resilient and agile. We are entrepreneurial and educated enough to be successful. It's a model to the world. ”
Members at the event included many Irish companies with operations in the US. The Chamber was also honoured to be represented at Speaker Pelosi's address to Dáil Éireann to coincide with its centenary celebrations and a State Dinner in honour of the visit at Dublin Castle.
Remarks by President of the American Chamber, Mark Gantly
Reception to welcome Speaker of the House of Representatives & Congressional Delegation to Dublin
Madam Speaker, Ways & Means Chairman Members of Congress and your delegation, on behalf of the Board and members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, Cead Mile Failte go leir, welcome to Ireland.
It is a pleasure to welcome such firm friends of Ireland on Capitol Hill back to Dublin.
I welcome you on behalf of the broader US -Ireland business community – which now has over 700 US companies employing 155,000 talented people in Ireland and over 800 Irish companies who have created over 100,000 well-paying jobs across all 50 states in the US. I am delighted that many of these great Irish companies are joining us this evening.
As our Chamber’s US-Ireland Business Report shows, the total value of the investment relationship is fast approaching a trillion dollars.
Since we last had the honour of hosting you, Madam Speaker, Ireland has been transformed. We are on a journey of social and economic progress, overcoming the global recession and becoming the first country in the world to legalise marriage equality by popular vote. Our island is at peace and our country is seen as a world leader in social acceptance and inclusion.
Our vision is that Ireland is an inclusive location of talent and innovation with global impact. We are a global nation - a country where one in every six children is born of non-Irish parents, where one in seven people living here came from overseas, where over 100,000 people from 180 countries have been conferred with Irish citizenship. And we hold in our hearts our family of Irish diaspora members, of which there are 36 million in the US.
This is a country, we believe, where equality of talent should be matched by equality of opportunity, regardless of gender, creed or colour. I want to pay special tribute to you Madam Speaker, for the leadership and example you have shown globally in progressing women’s rights, LGBT acceptance and social inclusion issues, so people everywhere can find a place where they belong.
I also want to thank those who helped us achieve the peace and progress for which we are so grateful - Congressman Richard Neal, we thank you and your fellow members of Congress for your presence here today, and your unwavering support for the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.
Peace on our island would not have happened without your support. Brexit unfortunately casts a new shadow over aspects of that hard-won progress. But your presence sends such a powerful signal to the world that the leadership of the world’s greatest democracy stands by Ireland…. stands by peace.
And though we regret the decision of the UK to leave the European Union, we believe the growing presence of US companies in Ireland will assist our people meet the challenges ahead. It demonstrates to the world Ireland’s central importance on the global trade and investment stage.
And Madam Speaker I want to assure you and your delegation that Ireland will continue to use that central role to promote a multilateral approach to global trade, to advocate a mutually beneficial US-EU trade deal, to promote the interests of US business at the Brussels table – ensuring that US business benefits from the same approach shown to European business – from the use of State Aid measures to fair and impartial taxation measures.
So, Madam Speaker, today, I am proud to say to you that US investment has helped transform Ireland and in turn that investment has been good for the US. Our linkages are deeper than ever, our relationships underpinned by a strong shared business culture and shared values. We will continue to build our ties across the Atlantic just as we have done over our long and enduring shared history - in a spirit marked by continued friendship and kinship.