How Taoiseach Enda Kenny plans to handle Trump meeting
Taoiseach Enda Kenny intends to educate the US President Donald Trump on the European Union's "full story" in a bid to convince him to row back on his anti-EU rhetoric.
Mr Kenny will appeal to Mr Trump's business acumen during their White House meeting tomorrow and argue that by working together, America and the EU can grow.
"I intend to say to the president that if you visited Ireland 50 years ago, you would find a backward, protectionist, introverted traditionally based agri-sector. Our membership of the EU has transformed our country, it has opened our potential to the world," he said.
Mr Kenny will be the second EU leader to meet the new president in person since he took office in January.
The Taoiseach indicated that he intends to take a diplomatic approach. He said: "This is a man who is used to doing business deals, obviously he has set out his standard in wanting to build further for the US. I would like to think that Irish firms, given their confidence, I would see real opportunities for further expansion and employing further Americans on American soil."
Mr Kenny will officially begin his St Patrick's Day engagements in a snow-hit Washington today. The key event is the black-tie American Ireland Fund Gala Reception.
His itinerary is back on schedule after he was forced to leave Boston early in order to avoid the worst of Storm Stella.