Trading Partner Portal: Ireland
|Invest in California: A Guide for Irish Companies
AmCham Ireland, January 2021
Under the Global Ireland 2025 initiative, enhanced trade and investment with
Ireland is a trade-dependent economy and one of the first twelve EU nations to begin circulating the euro in 2002. The nation has become an important European hub for key sectors such as biotech, technology, med-tech, and financial services. Ireland has a GDP of US$382.48 billion and a population of 4.85 million.
Ireland is home to a burgeoning business community which includes the software, pharma, finance, and medical technology industries. One out of every two hospital ventilators in the world is created in Ireland. Along with one in three of contact lenses and one in four products for diabetes patients around the world.
Economic and trade ties are an important facet of overall US-Irish relations. Two-way trade between the United States and Ireland totaled approximately $70.79 billion in 2019. In 2019, the US exported over $9.03 billion in goods to Ireland, a number that has generally increased over the previous years. Top exported products included chemicals, computer and electronic products, oil and gas, and manufactured commodities. The US imported $61.76 billion from Ireland in 2019, an increase from $57.4 billion in 2018, with chemicals making up 71.7% percent of the total. U.S. Department of Commerce
Irish-California Trade Relations
According to the Irish Consul General in San Francisco (February 2019), Irish companies employ approximately 100,000 Americans in the US, and of those about ten percent or 10,000 jobs are in California. Approximately 140 Irish companies now are established in the Western US, primarily in California. And CA-Irish ties run deep, with ten percent of the Bay Area identifying as Irish-Americans. Irish Consulate General
In 2019, California exported over $1.07 billion to Ireland, providing 11.8% of total US exports to Ireland, and making California one of the top exporting state to Ireland. Top exported products in 2019 included computers/electronic products and chemicals, accounting for 39% and 21.9% of the total, respectively. Followed by manufactured commodities and special classification provisions. U.S. Department of Commerce
Foreign Direct Investment
Ireland is the fourth fastest-growing source of FDI in the U.S. In 2018, US direct investment into Ireland reached $442.16 billion, while Ireland invested $385.32 billion into the US. The US is the largest export destination for Irish goods, and provides the second largest source of Irish imports, after the UK. There are over 200 Irish companies at over 2,600 locations in all 50 states across the US. Irish companies in the US employ as many people as US companies do in Ireland, which is about 294,900 people. $3.9 billion of Irish FDI went to research and development and another $8.4 billion went to expanding US exports. The top industry sectors for Irish FDI were: software and IT services, business services, food and beverages, communications, pharmaceuticals, and industrial equipment. Select USA
In California, the number seven country for FDI through foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) is Ireland. Irish FOEs in California provide over 30,821 jobs through 460 firms amounting to $2.84 billion in wages. The top jobs by sector are: manufacturing, professional/business services, wholesale trade, other services, and construction (World Trade Center Los Angeles FDI Report, May 2020).
California Legislative Irish Caucus
The newly formed California Legislative Irish Caucus is a bi-partisan group of state legislators of Irish ancestry. The Caucus is a 501c7 organization intended to strengthen the important economic and cultural ties between California and Ireland.
Currently, there are more than 36,000 Irish nationals employed by California based corporations with household names such as Hewlett Packard, Apple, Intel, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, Allergan and Gilead. In addition, there are over 50 California-based companies with Irish founders.
U.S. companies have been investing heavily in Ireland since the 1970’s after its entry into the European Union, when it established itself as a new market. Its close proximity to the continent, with an English speaking and educated workforce, along with new government incentives made it attractive for foreign investment. In fact, there are now at least 190 West Coast companies with facilities throughout Ireland. Ireland has become an important European hub for key sectors such as biotech, technology, med-tech, and financial services.
Presidential Proclamation — Irish-American Heritage Month, 2016
White House, February 29, 2016
U.S. Relations with Ireland
(March 19, 2019) The strong trade and investment links between Ireland and the United States, as well as California, were celebrated last week at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast held in conjunction with CalChamber Board events.
The CalChamber Council for International Trade meeting, sponsored by Frontier Communications, was one of several gatherings in the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day featuring the release of the US-Ireland Business 2019 report by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ireland.
Speaking at the March 15 breakfast were the Honorable Simon Harris, Irish minister for health and former minister of state; Carin Bryans, vice president of AmCham Ireland and managing director of JP Morgan Ireland; and Robert O’Driscoll, consul general of Ireland to the Pacific Northwest.
The three highlighted Ireland as a transatlantic hub and gateway to the European Union.
On the Occasion of St. Patrick’s Day
U.S. Department of State, March 17, 2019
Remarks by President Trump at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon
White House, March 14, 2019
Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Varadkar of Ireland Before Bilateral Meeting
White House, March 14, 2019
Irish Ambassador Salutes 2016 CalChamber Chair Mike Murphy
On May 27, 2015, the California Chamber of Commerce held an International Forum on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Transpacific Partnership with speakers including members of the United States Chamber of Commerce, representatives from five American Chambers of Commerce from abroad, and two ambassadors. Also in attendance was a delegation totaling 25 members of the AmCham community representing Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Turkey.
(March 16, 2016) Economic and trade ties are an important facet of overall U.S./California-Irish relations explained the Honorable Alan Kelly T.D., Irish Minister for the environment, community and local government, during an International luncheon yesterday at the California Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to celebrating St. Patrick ’s Day one day early, the luncheon with over 100 attendees also honored March as Irish-American Heritage Month, which was recently declared by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Luncheon guests also heard from Assemblymember William P. Brough (R-Dana Point) who chairs the California Legislative Irish Caucus, which now boasts the membership of 25% of the Legislature. The caucus will take part in a trip to Ireland in July. Assemblymember Brough promised that upon their return, participants will be “fully committed to new, stronger and even more meaningful ties.”
Key Country Contacts
- U.S.-Ireland Business 2019 from AmCham Ireland
- U.S. Commercial Service in Ireland
- Doing Business in Ireland
- IDA Ireland
- Irish Network Bay Area
- Ireland Chamber of Commerce – USA
- Ireland – US Council
- Connect Ireland