Saturday 25 February 2017

Enda plots US course as ministers go on the march

US President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny hold up a bowl of Irish shamrocks during a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, last year. AP Photo/Susan Walsh
US President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny hold up a bowl of Irish shamrocks during a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, last year. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

ENDA'S Green Army is on the march as the great St Patrick's Day ministerial exodus gets under way. The Taoiseach is leading the global charge of 27 ministers to 23 countries, as he begins a six-day visit today to three US cities – Washington DC, Boston and New York – with a busy schedule which includes the annual meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House, a dinner with Vice-President Joe Biden and walking in the St Patrick's Day parade in New York.

Kenny's visit to the White House tomorrow morning will be the third meeting for the two leaders who both face crucial mid-term elections this year.

However, their respective local politics won't be dominating the scheduled 45-minute bilateral meeting, which is a hugely precious perk of the annual festivities. Topics on the agenda for discussion are likely to include immigration reform, and another possible issue is Ireland's generous tax regime for multinational companies. Earlier this month it was reported that Apple's Irish subsidiary paid just $36m in tax on $7.1bn in profits between 2004 and 2008.

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