March 14, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at an event highlighting the pivotal business and investment ties between Ireland and the United States, and ways to advance mutual prosperity, innovation, and growth.   

Ahead of a fireside chat with U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “For many U.S. companies, Ireland is the gateway to Europe. Ireland is one of the top ten sources of Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S., and some 100,000 people are employed by Irish-owned companies in the U.S., across all 50 States. As two pro-enterprise economies, our countries share similar goals on issues like energy security, and the need to protect and promote democratic values. With so many crises around the world, we can take strength from the ever-stronger relationship enjoyed by Ireland and the U.S.” 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark said, "So much of what makes the U.S.-Ireland relationship strong is evident in the business we do together, and the numbers that underpin U.S.-Ireland economic ties speak for themselves: More than $820 billion in two-way investment, more than $200 billion in two-way trade annually, and nearly 520,000 American and Irish jobs.  What makes this partnership special is our cultural ties, our shared history, and our common values: free enterprise, fair competition, and the rule of law—values the world needs, especially right now.”   

As part of its annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosts the Irish Taoiseach each year. This year’s event took place at the historic Decatur House in Washington, D.C., in association with the White House Historical Association. The event included a special ceremony during which Clark was honoured with the Kennedy-Lemass Medal from AmCham Ireland, recognizing her significant contribution to U.S.-Ireland relations.   

“I count it a privilege that I have a job that allows me to work with all of you to honour the rich history of this relationship and to make it even stronger for the future,” said Clark, accepting the award. “The world needs our talented people, our innovative spirit, and our commitment to open markets and free trade.  The world needs our leadership in a time of global challenge and uncertainty.  The world needs our courage to stand up against those who don’t share our values.”   

The event also recognized outgoing AmCham Ireland CEO Mark Redmond, and welcomed Paul Sweetman as his successor.  

The U.S. Chamber’s annual hosting of the Taoiseach is part of its important work representing and advocating for U.S. business interests at home and abroad. Each year, the U.S. Chamber hosts dozens of heads of state and over 500 other senior officials from around the world at its headquarters. Last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce led business delegations to 37 foreign capitals across every continent except Antarctica. The Chamber also represents the American business community at multilateral gatherings, including the Munich Security Conference, the UN General Assembly, APEC, and COP28.