The US Election & Ireland

Dr. Thomas Kelley Resident Director


November 8, 2016

Most people who know a little bit about the USA and a little bit about Ireland are familiar with the close historical and cultural connections between the two nations. Others with an even deeper understanding know the close political ties between the United States and Ireland. Like the rest of the world, the Irish will be watching the election results.

How will Ireland be affected by the American presidential election? Well, Ireland tries to attract American direct investment with a comparatively low tax rate on corporate profits. This competitive tax rate has made Ireland the preferred operational hub in the EU for well-known multinationals such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Linkedin and Intel. Have a look at IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan discussing such success.  A Trump presidency could see opportunities for American direct investment in Ireland dry up, as he has promulgated new trade deals that would make such investment unattractive to American business. Hillary Clinton has expressed a continued engagement with the world on trade and has encouraged a global economy.

Former President Bill Clinton was personally engaged with the Irish peace process in the 1990s and there is every indication that Hillary would have a similar interest. Donald Trump has not mentioned the peace process during his campaign, and there is little evidence that he would show any interest as president. Hillary has been to Ireland on many occasions to speak to the peace process as well as to women’s issues. Donald Trump has a golf course in Doonbeg, County Clare.

While immigrants from Mexico get most of the attention in the United States, recent research estimates 50,000 undocumented Irish are currently in the US. Donald Trump has called for a ‘deportation force’ to remove illegal immigrants while Hillary Clinton has proposed a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the USA.

These are a few ways that Ireland will be affected by the outcome of the US presidential election. Irish eyes will be watching.