Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Questions (14)

Micheál Martin

Question:

14. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his plans to expand market access in the United States of America. [48807/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

One of the key means to expanding market access in the US will be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The decision by the EU Trade Council last June to formally launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US was the outcome of a key Government objective for Ireland’s EU Presidency. Now that the negotiations are underway, we will fully play our part in supporting the EU Commission in getting the best deal possible for Ireland and the EU.

The mandate on the EU side is a broad ranging one, covering virtually all sectors of economic interest. It builds on the outcome of the work of the EU-US High Level Group that recommended that negotiations on a comprehensive trade and investment agreement between the EU and the US should aim to achieve ambitious outcomes in three broad areas, namely market access, regulatory barriers and non-tariff barriers, and rules addressing shared global trade challenges and opportunities. With this wide scope for negotiation, market access opportunities should follow.

I fully intend to ensure that these opportunities can be exploited through the activities of the agencies under my remit. Enterprise Ireland’s remit is to maintain and grow jobs in Irish companies by driving the growth of Irish-owned companies in overseas markets. In that context, Enterprise Ireland is working with Irish companies to assist them entering and expanding into the US market. Since taking office, I have undertaken 9 trade and investment missions to the United States. I have also initiated a joint working group between IDA and EI to develop the possibility for global sourcing by Irish companies.

The USA is a key overseas market for Enterprise Ireland’s client companies; in 2012 Enterprise Ireland clients’ exports to the USA amounted to €1.56 billion (approximately 10% of total client exports), representing a 20% increase over 2011 figures, making the USA a priority market for our clients. Enterprise Ireland has 4 offices in the USA, in New York, Boston, Silicon Valley and Texas. The Texas office was newly opened this year. All 4 offices are on the ground, working in partnership with Irish enterprises, providing a cohesive set of supports to help them exploit the opportunities of the US market.