Brendan Foster, partner at Grant Thornton; Noelle O’Connell, executive director the European Movement Ireland; Grant D Aldonas, former US Under Secretary of Commerce.
Ireland should use its influence in EU negotiations to push for agreement this year of the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to Grant D Aldonas, a former US Under Secretary of Commerce.
Aldonas was keynote speaker at a high-level briefing hosted by Grant Thornton this morning in the Conrad Hotel, Dublin on TTIP and its implications for US investment in Ireland.
Irish exports to the US are worth over €18bn, and according to Aldonas the TTIP will help further stimulate economic growth between Ireland and the US, and provide confidence and stability for US firms investing in Ireland.
The TTIP negotiations began in July 2013 and are on-going with a goal of completing the process by the end of this year. If successfully concluded, TTIP would be the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated covering more than 40% of global GDP.
Aldonas said: “It is far easier for the naysayers to organise to say no than it is to get to a yes, but it’s vital US and European politicians take the initiative this year to make progress. The TTIP offers Ireland an opportunity to make sure that its development of a strong institutional framework and investment in an educated work force are rewarded in an emerging transatlantic economy.
“The US and EU require complementary policies such as tax reform and domestic intellectual property rules that reinforce the ability to compete in the new transatlantic marketplace. Ireland’s reputation as a country with strong IP rights plays a critical role in that process and its ability to attract a continuing flow of US investment.”
Brendan Foster, business consulting and advisory partner at Grant Thornton said: “The TTIP process is continuing below the radar for many Irish citizens but it is of enormous importance to our economy. It is absolutely critical that our government adopts policies that allow Ireland to continue to compete effectively to win investment from US companies. Our reputation as a country is critical and we need to constantly think of this in terms of how CEOs and CFOs look at risk in the context of major capital budgeting decisions.”
The briefing was organised in association with European Movement Ireland, and was moderated by its chairperson, Maurice Pratt. A panel discussion took place with Geraldine Byrne Nason, second secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach, Pat Breen chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Caroline Curtis, vice president International Finance Nuance Communications, and Sinead Donovan, partner at Grant Thornton.