Friday 14 December 2018

Former ambassador to US warns isolationist trends are taking hold

Former Irish Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson Pic: Conor McCabe Photography
Former Irish Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson Pic: Conor McCabe Photography
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Ireland's former ambassador to the United States, Anne Anderson, has spoken of her "concerns" for the country in the wake of Brexit and a "widening" gap in the relationship between Europe and the US.

Anderson, widely tipped as a future Presidential candidate, told an audience including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and corporate leaders from US multinationals, that "no one has more grounds for concern" when tension, brittleness, misunderstanding or neglect enter the relationship between Europe and America. "We thrive when that partnership thrives," the recently retired diplomat said last Thursday on receipt of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Chamber of Commerce.

"I do believe there are some grounds for concern today," she said. "Of deeper significance, we see the isolationist trends taking hold in America and hear the drumbeat of sovereignty that is becoming more insistent. Europe, like the rest of the world, is reading these signals and beginning to plan accordingly."

The diplomatic warning comes as investment and trade between Ireland and America reaches record levels amid the European Commission's ongoing Apple tax dispute and scrutiny of Ireland's corporate tax regime by US President Donald Trump.

Writing in today's Sunday Independent to mark America's Thanksgiving celebrations, US Embassy Charge d'affaires Reece Smyth said that the relationship between Ireland and America is "like no other" but cautioned that the unique relationship is one that "cannot be taken for granted".

Sunday Independent

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