“Ireland has always had a unique relationship with the United States and this remains strong” – An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar

Guest Blog | Mon 29 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar

An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, speaks about the importance of Ireland’s relationship with the United States

The following piece was originally published in the Ireland INC US 250 Index 2021 Special Report, supported by KPMG. Read it here.


The past year has been an unprecedented one on both sides of the Atlantic. However, Ireland has always had a unique relationship with the United States and this remains strong. 

Post-Brexit and with a new administration in Washington DC, we now have a real opportunity to reforge the Atlantic alliance between the US and Europe. An alliance which is a force for good, for stability and prosperity in the world. Ireland can be a bridge in that alliance. 

Ireland’s export-led trading sector has proven to be extremely resilient during this and indeed our last recession. Employment levels and tax receipts held up and even grew during the worst of both. This has allowed us to support struggling businesses with grants, wage subsidies, a rates holiday and a VAT cut.

While Ireland is widely known as a significant European hub for US foreign direct investment, investment flows across the North Atlantic are not all one way. The United States has always been an important market for Irish companies. Today, almost 1,000 companies of Irish origin employ 110,000 people in the US across all 50 states. This makes Ireland the ninth largest source of foreign direct investment into the US, a remarkable achievement for a country and economy approximately 1/70th the size of the US.  Irish companies in the United States have shown great resilience to the challenges of COVID-19. You will see this reflected in the new additions to the US Top 250 Index.

Ireland remains a fantastic place to do business. We have four strengths which I believe set us apart: Our young, well educated workforce; our competitiveness, underpinned by an attractive business environment and 12.5% corporate tax rate; our connectivity, with a 70 million diaspora and truly international workforce and finally, our position at the heart of Europe, its single market and eurozone.

These strengths have endured throughout the pandemic. We have had to adapt and do things differently, but the foundations are solid as ever.


US-Ireland Economic Roundtable will take place on 30th March 2021

Ireland INC has announced its latest US-Ireland Economic Roundtable which is centred on the theme ‘A New Dawn for US-Irish Relations: Strategies to Unlock Limitless Opportunity’. The virtual event will bring together US and Irish business and political leaders to coincide with the Ireland INC Index.

Moderator Sarah Freeman (Managing Editor of Business & Finance Media Group) will be joined by the following guest panelists:

  • Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America
  • Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence
  • Chairman Richard Neal, Chairman House Ways & Means Committee and Member of United States Congress
  • Congressman Brendan Boyle, Member of United States Congress
  • Seamus Hand, Managing Partner, KPMG Ireland

The panel on the Ireland INC Roundtable will discuss a number of issues including the likelihood and impact of global economic rebound within months, the future prospects for expansion of Irish companies and jobs in US, the implications of the new US administration on relationships between the US, the EU and Ireland and the reality of trading under the deal struck between the EU and Britain.

This webinar takes place Tuesday, 30th March at 15:00 GMT +1. Register here.