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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM

Lisbon Treaty: Ireland’s membership of the EU underpins over 300,000 jobs within US multinationals
By Finfacts Team
Dec 12, 2008 - 5:57:27 AM

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US chip giant Intel is Ireland's largest industrial employer. Since 1989, Intel has invested over $7 billion transforming the 360 acre former stud farm campus in Leixlip, Co. Kildare into a key manufacturing centre for the US company.

Lisbon Treaty:The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland said on Thursday that Ireland’s membership of the EU underpins over 300,000 jobs within US multinationals. The Chamber which represents the interests of US multinationals in Ireland welcomed the decision by Government to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

“This removes the uncertainty created by the No vote last July, we now have direction and the opportunity to address the concerns of the electorate which resulted in the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty”,said Joanne Richardson, Chief Executive of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.

IBEC Director General Turlough O Sullivan on Thursday also welcomed the decision: “The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty has left Ireland politically isolated in Europe at a very uncertain and challenging time. The roadmap presented by government sets out a means whereby Irish concerns can be definitively addressed, so we can move forward with our European partners to tackle shared concerns together. Ireland will only succeed if we take our place at the very centre of European decision-making.

"At a time of increasing economic challenges Ireland must aim to boost trade to the EU and beyond to safeguard jobs and investment. As one of the most open economies in the world, our dependence on exports far exceeds that of larger countries. In fact we export over 85% of everything we produce. Previous treaties have brought great benefits and have opened-up many new opportunities for Irish business. This Lisbon Treaty has the potential to do the same.

"Our membership of the EU and in particular our access to Europe's single market has seen a dramatic rise in our exports into Europe. These exports have more than doubled since we joined the European Economic Community in 1973 and now make up almost half of total exports. Access to the European market and its customer base of 500 million people has been a vital ingredient in our success

"Irish exporters are facing increasingly difficult economic conditions and many jobs are at risk. Now more than ever is a time to focus attention on our trade with EU and beyond to safeguard jobs and boost investment.

“The rejection on 12 June of the Lisbon Treaty has damaged our international reputation and, consequently, reduced our ability to influence decisions that affect the Irish economy. To suggest our decision of last June comes without a price tag is naive. There are negative consequences, which are already being felt. The agreement at the European Summit begins the process of restoring Ireland’s position as an important member of the world’s largest economic area,”
concluded O’ Sullivan.

The American Chamber of Commerce's Joanne Richardson said;“Evidence from MEP’s in Europe is that there has been a weakening of our influence since the referendum last July. The current global financial turmoil and its impact on Ireland have demonstrated the benefits of being part of the euro zone and have highlighted the positive impact of having the support of the ECB. There is no doubt that Ireland is stronger for being at the heart of Europe and adopting an isolationist approach will not serve our interests.

“Our membership of the EU has been instrumental in the location of the over 300,000 direct & indirect jobs in Ireland within the US multinational sector. In the face of the global downturn the US multinational sector in Ireland announced over 7,500 new jobs and $2 billion in additional investments during 2008. Our commitment to the EU is a key part of our attractiveness as a location for future foreign direct investment and jobs and the ability of our indigenous industry to compete on the global stage”,she said.

Richardson said that the post referendum research conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs showed that the electorate remain favourable towards Europe but felt they did not know enough about the Treaty. “It is to be hoped that with clarity from the EU on the issues which concerned the Irish electorate that there will be a positive vote in the second referendum next year. The challenge for the government now, is to communicate in a meaningful and easily understood way what people are voting for, so that they can make an informed decision based on facts rather than on misinformation”, she said.

The American Chamber of Commerce supported a Yes Vote in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum this year and said it will once again lend its support to the campaign for a vote in the second referendum when it takes place.

Today, over 100,000 people are directly employed [i] in over 590 US firms in Ireland [ii] accounting for 70% of all IDA supported employment [iii]. Indirect employment in sub-supply and community industry & services has been estimated at over 225,000 [iv]. The IDA announced over 114 new and expansion projects with companies during 2007 [v]. Almost two out of every three foreign direct investment projects coming to Ireland in 2007 have originated from the US. In 2007, US firms paid over €2.5b to the Irish Exchequer in Corporate Tax (or approx 40% of total corporate tax take in 2007[vi]) and contributed a further €12.5b in expenditure to the Irish economy in terms of payrolls, goods and services employed in their operations [vii].

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