Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is in the United States this week to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Washington DC and Chicago.
The visit is an opportunity to deepen Ireland’s strong bilateral relations with the US, and to build even stronger transatlantic relations between the US and the EU.
On Wednesday March 13th, the Taoiseach’s programme in Washington DC focuses on economic links, with a series of meetings to promote trade and investment between the US and Ireland. Transatlantic investment is a two-way street, with Irish companies employing more than 100,000 American workers, while over 550 US firms with operations in Ireland employ 155,000 people.
The Taoiseach will meet representatives of Irish companies successfully expanding their operations in the US. He will also meet the US Chamber of Commerce and IDA client companies, highlighting Ireland's strengths as a location for international business and investment. The Taoiseach will attend the annual Ireland Funds Gala Dinner, and visit the exhibition ‘Blazing a Trail: Irish Women in America’.
On Thursday March 14th, the Taoiseach will be hosted for breakfast by Vice President Pence, and then visit the White House for a bilateral meeting with President Trump. He will attend the annual Speaker’s Lunch on Capitol Hill, and meet with senior members of Congress.
In his meetings he will emphasise the strength of Irish-US relations, including our economic ties. He will recall the important role of the US in supporting peace and the Good Friday Agreement, and outline Ireland’s position on Brexit. He will also press the case for resolving the situation facing the undocumented Irish in America.
That evening, the Taoiseach will join President and Mrs Trump for the traditional Shamrock Ceremony at the White House, in advance of attending the Ambassador’s St Patrick’s Day Reception.
On Friday, March 15th, the Taoiseach will travel to Chicago where generations of Irish-Americans have made their home. He will meet with a number of emigrant support groups that receive Irish Government funding, and will attend a St Patrick’s Day dinner hosted by the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago.
On Saturday, March 16th, the Taoiseach will march in the Chicago St Patrick’s Day Parade, before concluding his programme by marking the launch of Tourism Ireland’s new book, ‘Ireland’s Greening of the World’, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Global Greening Initiative.