US Consulate: “We anticipate that a US trade and investment delegation will visit Northern Ireland in the first half of 2017”

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, has, in effect, called ‘bullshit’ on Martin McGuinness‘ claim that a proposed US investment delegation to Northern Ireland has been postponed “directly as a result of the vote” in the UK-wide EU membership referendum.

Unlike the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, echoed by his party colleague, Conor Murphy, the Secretary of State named the source of her information

…Theresa Villiers said that the US Special Envoy Gary Hart had blamed the decision of the trip’s leading figure leaving the US government.

She said the visit would now go ahead next year.

Of course, this particular US investment delegation has been postponed before.  As the late Liam Clarke pointed out in July last year.

After that, an investment conference to celebrate our latest “breakthrough” in the Stormont House Agreement had to be cancelled. US officials had helped Norman Houston, of the Northern Ireland Bureau to promote our coming fall in corporation tax. As soon as they got the message across, they were told that the “game-changer” economic measure might not happen.

And, despite Theresa Villiers’ protestations, it’s just as likely that continued uncertainty over that measure, including plans by the current UK Chancellor and the reaction of the NI Finance Minister, Sinn Féin’s Máirtín Ó Muilleoir…

“I think he has put a horse and carriage through our policy.

…has had an impact on the US delegates thinking, again.

In any event, as the UTV report notes

But a US Consulate spokesman in Belfast insists they remain “strongly committed to bolstering two-way trade and investment with Northern Ireland”.

“We anticipate that a US trade and investment delegation will visit Northern Ireland in the first half of 2017,” he added.

When, of course, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will still be on the agenda.

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  • Declan Doyle

    I would feel a lot more confident if the word ‘anticipate’ was not in the sentence. Hopefully it will come through; but highly unlikely.

  • chrisjones2

    Of course it can.

    However for those who wish access to the 5th largest economy in the world ……… ideally placed in terms of timezones for international trade ….with low taxes and an entrepreneurial workforce not weighted down with EU controls and taxes …….. there is the UK

    So they may choose old schlerotic EU or dynamic UK

  • Anglo-Irish

    May I point you in the direction of John The Optimist’s post on the ‘ Time for the Irish government to lay out their ideas ….. ‘ thread?

    He gives a fairly comprehensive comparison between the two countries and it isn’t exactly favorable to the UK.

    Factor in our aging population, massive debt, and the obvious confusion that has been caused by the recent result and I think that you may be a little over optimistic on this one.

    Love the ‘dynamic’ by the way!

  • hgreen

    Plus they can access the N.I. workforce if they set up in Dundalk or Donegal. Ireland and especially Dublin will not only benefit from investment that may have gone to NI but fdi planned for Britain as well.

  • puffen

    The Italian Bank crises has yet to hit home, but I suppose when that happens that will be blamed on Brexit, and not a fraudulent Currency

  • Katyusha

    On the contrary. Italy briefly overtook the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, before the infamous next-basket-case-of-the-EU was confirmed to be a basket case.
    When you start viewing one of the infamous PIIGS economies as a serious competitor, you know you’re in trouble. And Ireland mangaed to crawl out of that hole. The UK dived into it.

  • Declan Doyle

    It’s will very soon be the 7th largest economy in the world, do try to keep up

  • Katyusha

    I fully expect that US trade delegation will visit in 2017… and achieve absolutely nothing.

    Why would anyone commit to investment in a country who’s constitutional status is under debate for the next two years minimum?
    Might as well sit it out a few years and see what happens.

  • notimetoshine

    Actually the UK benefits from quite a youthful demographic especially in comparison to other major European economies.. If things don’t go completely up the left (though brexit may be in that category) the UK stands to become Europe’s largest economy, with its demographics playing a major part.

  • notimetoshine

    I would be careful comparing the UK to the major EU economies. If brexit doesn’t cause an almighty crash (something which is by no means impossible I tink) the UK stands to become Europe’s largest economy, driven in part by population growth and a comparatively youthful population compared to the other trillion dollar economies in Europe.

  • notimetoshine

    But Ireland has low taxes, an exceptionally well educated workforce, one of the easiest places in the world to do business and sometimes the easiest in the world and of course the timezone advantage. Add to that a government that bends over backwards for investors, the English language, excellent trans Atlantic links, an at times powerful diaspora and strong neutral international reputation .

    Now if Ireland can manage that within the sclerotic EU, you may wish to rethink your last statement.

    Of course one can’t compare the UK with the Republic,they are apples and oranges, but NI v the republic is not necessarily going to see NI come out on top for attractiveness for investors. A shame but such are our circumstances.

  • AntrimGael

    Anyone who believes the cancellation of this US trade delegation ISN’T linked to Brexit is a fool plain and simple or an in denial Flat Earth Unionist/Loyalist Flegger. The Yanks can be accused of many things but not being business savvy and the mood around it isn’t one of them. They know that with Britain now out of Europe their interests aren’t going to be served by situating US commerce in Norn Iron when the EU South is right next door. Dublin knows it and will play their cards right in respect of this. I would NOT be surprised one bit if the Irish government hasn’t played a part in this and said to the Yanks “Why go North with potential trade tariffs into Europe when you locate this business with us with no tariffs”. The South always looks after it’s owns interests and who could blame them? The North is, always has been, and always be, in Charlie Haughey’s words “a failed political and economic entity”.

  • puffen

    You miss my point, we are approaching another Lehman brothers moment,

  • notimetoshine

    Demographics mean an awful lot in a modern advanced economy like the UK. A typical developing African nation is hardly an appropriate comparison. A youthful population can do wonders for a developed economy.

    According to Eurostat and the centre for economic and business research the UK is on course to become the largest economy in Europe by 2050. This is due in part to the impact of population growth on a developed economy such as the UK. Also important is that the UK has population growth as a result of birthimmigration on top of the increasing life expectancy of much of the population (which doesn’t contribute to economic growth). The second part of this is the negative. Germany faces a demographic crisis, as does Italy and France, in the near future. The UK already has a much more youthful population that Germany does and this gap is growing. Aging population in Germany will significantly hinder growth going forward while the UK benefits from the opposite. Germany has the lowest birth rate in the world as of the end of 2015 not even meeting it’s replacement rate.

    Now the effect of brexit is largely unquantified at the moment and God knows what it’s mid term impacts will be, but the demographic situation isn’t going to change any time soon. So unless Britain experiences a severe depression or decades of poor or neutral growth, it can be wxpected to become Europe’s largest economy through sheer force of numbers alone if nothing else.

  • chrisjones2

    Time will tell …

  • chrisjones2

    You sound as though you cannot wait …..but again thats just an expression of nationalist impotence. You have lost the argument

  • chrisjones2

    Dont spoil their dream ….its all they have left

  • chrisjones2

    You love a good crisis dont you. Three weeks from a vote and higher education has collapsed!!!!

    You sound utterly desperate or manically depressive. Do lighten up and seize the opportunities the future presents

  • chrisjones2

    Great and if they live in NI we get the advantages of their taxes

  • notimetoshine

    Well the facts will tell and unless the EU has recently passed some extensive new stifling business regulations it will stay much the same. It would appear you have been duped by rhetoric.

    I also find it hard to understand brexit types when they claim EU regulation chokes business or cripples it or whatever, when the most recent Forbes list had four EU countries in the top ten easiest places to do business, including an EU country at number one. So obviously people are over egging the impact of EU regulation. It is more likely that inflexible labour markets, uncompetitive protected service sectors and structural issues in some national economies are what give people this impression. I’m thinking of the French and Spanish labour market, inefficient Italian services etc. But to balance that Germany is an EU state and it is one of the most dynamic and powerful economies in the world.

    So I should think that EU regulation is not really the biggest stumbling block to this proposed economic Valhalla that brexit era have managed to foist upon a gullible and ill informed electorate.

  • Sir Rantsalot
  • Declan Doyle

    Well thanks for your declaration, but given the standard and quality of arguments in general, you are hardly qualified.

  • Anglo-Irish

    11.6 Million of UK residents are over 65 and that group is growing all the time.

    Take away immigrants as is apparently the plan and that figure will alter.

    In comparison with Ireland the UK has an aging population and that comes at a cost to the taxpayer.

  • Anglo-Irish

    My eldest daughter works in finance at a major University ranked in the top hundred in the world.

    Following Brexit the Vice Chancellor contacted all senior staff and overseas students expressing concern as to the situation.

    Who knows, perhaps he is more aware of the circumstances and possible problems than you are ?

    These opportunities that we should seize, please do enlighten us as to exactly what they are.

  • Roger

    Germans are dying out. You’re right there. Average German is now mid forties. Hard to tell how long their mass immigration policy will last. It might thwart UK in becoming no.1 in the dying continent.

  • Roger

    Demographics mean squat. That ignores all facts. By the way African economies are growing at a far faster rate than the UKs.

  • Roger

    Yes. The U.K. Can now pursue its global destiny I think is what they say

  • Roger

    Agreed Germans are dying out. I don’t think UK demographics are better than French ones though. Every EU state is below replacement ratio. Some have been for generations now. Including Germany.

  • Roger

    I admire the notion of the U.K. freed from its shackles: a young country pursuing its global destiny*

    Last two words I’ve heard repeatedly.

  • Declan Doyle

    Great policy

  • Karl

    You can bet that the Eurostat forecast will be revisited in light of Brexit. Also birth rates in Germany (1.4) and the UK (1.9) are both below replacement rate. The German rate more significantly but they recognise this and it was one of the reasons theyve just taken in a million asylum seekers in the last 12 months.
    Immigrants are attracted to growing economies, so if Brexit does put a halt to the gallop then it is unlikely that there will be an influx of young mobile workers, unless social welfare alone makes it attractive enough. The Tories will see that it wont.
    Also, you can bet with some certainty that by 2050, Scotland will have removed itself from the UK, so that 7% of the economy disappearing.
    In short it is extremely unlikely that the UK will be Europes biggest economy in 2050

  • Roger

    Has UK economy dropped a rank?
    A wobble in the pursuit of global destiny?

  • cu chulainn

    The population may decline if bits fall off, Scotland for instance.

  • lizmcneill

    “However for those who wish access to the 5th largest economy in the world”

    They’ll set up in Paris, obviously.

  • cu chulainn

    Perhaps they can still be persuaded to locate in Ulster, in Letterkenny or Monaghan. The contribution of the NI authorities could be improve the transport links to these places so that people can get to work.

  • cu chulainn

    Under the double taxation agreements the would only pay income tax in the North if it exceeded the amount already paid to the Irish government. Of course they may spend some money in shops, or they must just shop on in Dundalk on their way home from work when they are buying their fuel. You might get some rates on their house, I suppose.

  • Adam Martin

    I doubt it’s a case of schadenfreude on Declan’s part.You are citing it’s importance along with an uncompromising pro-Brexit stance,despite the UK’s status as the world’s 5th largest economy being the first casualty of Brexit.

  • Adam Martin

    I can’t help but get the feeling that British nationalists aren’t merely satisfied with their “freedom”. but also cannot wait to see Europe sink under the waves too.
    Is that the sort of validation the Brexiters need?

  • chrisjones2

    We shall see. Meet you back here in 20 years

  • chrisjones2

    Not at all. I love Europe especially France and Germany and Spain

  • chrisjones2

    I suspect that is why they are keen to take so many refugees. The old East Germany is heavily depopulated and they can absorb them to plug gaps in the economy

  • hgreen

    What took you so long. British nationalists, the DUP, the majority of britexiters currency is hatred of other people and their lifestyles.

  • Declan Doyle

    There still is that rule britiannia strain found in parts of England and amongst irish unionism which needs others to suffer in order to validate their sense od superiority.

  • Roger

    Agreed. For once?

  • 05OCT68

    6th largest economy post brexit result. 6th highest paid workers? 6th most productive workforce? 6th best educated? 6th highest level of social mobility etc? The size of the UK economy has no relationship to the standard of living of UK citizens. Many smaller EU economies rate higher than the UK in the above.

  • Kevin Breslin

    If they want to access the 4th and 5th biggest economies on the World … France and Germany, it would be easier if they were in a place that was connected to the EU.

  • jonno99

    The ‘EU is facing financial meltdown with so many debt ridden Eurozone countries. The Euro currency is unsustainable without full fiscal union. Huge bail outs will be required. I just hope the UK leaves the ‘EU asap. It’s an undemocratic behemoth that is incapable of any meaningful reform. Why Ireland thinks it has any further future within it is difficult to see. It’s an act of self delusion to remain optimistic the ‘EU will ever work out its systemic problems. It will lose its no2 net contributor and yet continues to expand with more economic basket cases. Crowing about its advantages is more akin to remaining on the Titanic as the UK lifeboat sails away. Brexit has its risks and short term downsides but then there’s no price on freedom’…….sounds familiar?

  • jonno99

    Highly unlikely is dead on right. Brexit is not the vehicle for constitutional change in Ireland. The whole ‘EU debacle has yet to play itself out. There will be economic upheaval as the UK adjusts to the new reality and this will impact Ireland too as it’s so integrated into the UK economy. Any advantages of ‘EU membership are outweighed by the economic price caused by Brexit. Hopefully the UK and Irish govts can bilaterally resolve most issues that will arise vis a vis the border.

  • Declan Doyle

    Not sure you are correct. Brexit may not be the vehicle on its own but could brexit plus Scottish Independence and a couple of years of economic decline in England and Wales shift the dynamic? Moreover, with demographics predicting a traditional nationalist background majority around about now with an over 18 majority around 2021 matched by a surge in the Free State’s economic fortunes; is the perfect storm forming for nationalism?

  • jonno99

    Declan Doyle way too many what ifs and maybes with some very wishful thinking thrown in. Conflating the Brexit issue with Irish nationalist political aspirations is at best pure speculation. An overriding desire to see a political and economic event such as Brexit through the prism of Orange and Green.
    It’s understandable that that zero sum game is played out whenever major political changes occur. The reality is the Irish border will remain for the foreseeable. Mitigating its effects as Brexit takes shape is the real priority;.

  • Declan Doyle

    For sure I believe that we should deal with the present reality and negotiate on the assumption that the status quo prevails. But your assumption that I am wishful thinking in so far as I examine how the future might pan out can equally applied to yourself in that you hope the opposite might occur. Dismissing the potential for Brexit to lead to a rethink on the border is quite frankly naive.

  • jonno99

    Declan Doyle it’s naive to assume your counterfactual speculation is a realistic assessment of any potential future. It has way too many holes in it. Brexit is the issue and how it will affect the economy and the border. The current open border works well for both jurisdictions. Maintaining the CTA and open border are realistic and hopefully achievable goals post Brexit.
    The transition from an aspiration to political unity to actually removing the border is a far more long term process than a simple bolt on goodie handed over on the back of Brexit.

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    An English Lady would never descend to the vulgarity and crudity of using an expression like bullshit.