Ireland INC delegation to Washington progresses issues of Airbus Tariffs and E-3 Visas

Ireland INC, a business body which promotes the business interests of Irish companies in the United States, has completed a two-day engagement on Capitol Hill where they progressed a number of key issues including the Airbus Tariffs, E-3 Visas, and Ireland’s role in the EU.

Fifteen Irish Executives and members of industry attended the two day engagement which included meetings with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and House Ways & Means Chairman Richie Neal. Members of the delegation included Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President of Ibec Pat McCann and Ornua President Iarlaith Smyth.

In raising the issue of Airbus tariffs and the recent WTO ruling, the group raised the disproportionate burden on Ireland with regard to butter imports, highlighting that 88% of EU butter imported to the USA comes from Ireland. The group received positive responses across the aisle on this from both Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Chairman Neal and Congressman Mike Kelly who committed to raising the exception with US trade officials and house colleagues.

The delegation also raised the issue of E-3 visas with Speaker Nancy Pelosi following the reintroduction of new legislation by Chairman Richard Neal in the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation would see the E-3 visa scheme, which is currently only available to Australian nationals, extended to Irish nationals. The group expressed their desire for the House to pass legislation before Christmas and secured a commitment from Speaker Pelosi that she would progress the bill, HR-2418, to a vote before Christmas.

Speaking on the conclusion of Ireland INC’s two-day engagement, President Ian Hyland said that the dialogue was a strong affirmation of the Irish private sector’s ability to influence public policy.
We have had a number of frank and progressive discussions with the influencers and shapers of US policy to amplify the voice of Irish business on some of the key issues affecting their growth in the United States” said Hyland. He added, “With over 100,000 jobs supported by Irish companies across all 50 states, Irish business need to maintain an ongoing dialogue on not just maintaining this footprint, but growing it to the next level”.