Our EU man in Washington
BEEF farmers and pharmaceutical makers, take note. A new EU envoy has been appointed to the US – a person that may determine the fortunes of these industries on both sides of the Atlantic for decades to come – and he's Irish. The man in question is David O'Sullivan, who takes over from Portugal's Joao Vale de Almedia.
The reason why farmers and drug companies should be paying attention to Mr O'Sullivan's appointment is because he's about to become an integral cog in the intense negotiations taking place between the two economic giants, in an effort to form a trade alliance. The world's biggest trade alliance, one which could abolish trade barriers like separate drug approval processes with wildly different criteria, or bans on imports of beef that have been fed certain growth hormones. This trade pact has huge ramifications for a whole host of industries too, and presents the US and EU with a rare weapon in the face of rapidly growing low-cost competition from the East.
Mr O'Sullivan has an impressive CV: he's worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs, European Commission and the European External Action Service.