As Irish business builds its influence globally, Ibec continued its international engagement programme in the US this month.
The high point in Washington DC was Ibec's corporate event, in partnership with Accenture, with over 80 companies - both US and Irish - at which we hosted guest speakers White House Adviser Gail Slater and Ireland's Attorney General Seamus Woulfe.
Other highlights were representations with Congressman Richie Neal, Chair of the Ways & Means Committee, a powerful ally in a post-Brexit trade context. We also met with former Senator George Mitchell on the All Island economy. Colleagues attended the New York Stock Exchange's ‘Ireland Day’ in the company of Irish corporations who are scaling up in the USA.
On business to business, our joint briefings with Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), US Council for International Business, National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce and AdvaMed highlighted the joint concerns on trade tension between the US and China and uncertainty around digital taxation for future business models.
Interestingly, the disproportionate impact of Irish legislation on alcohol labelling was a significant topic raised with us as a concern on how legitimate business is treated in Ireland.
The big issues which dominated these discussions were:
1. Worries about growing protectionism globally and the threat from tariffs.
2. With the confusion of Brexit for deciding on investment into the EU, Ireland’s certainty on taxation and EU membership was seen as a differentiator.
3. Concerns on economic governance within Europe specifically on the issues of Data and Digital taxation but also on competition policy re digital technology companies.
4. A shared view that businesses both in the US and the EU remain committed to finding solutions through multilateral structures such as the OECD and WTO.
Pictured at the event in Washington DC were: Gail Slater, White House Adviser, and Danny McCoy, CEO of Ibec.