More information about Ireland is available on the Ireland Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S. relations with Ireland have long been based on common ancestral ties and shared values, and emigration has been a foundation of the U.S.-Irish relationship. Besides regular dialogue on political and economic issues, the U.S. and Irish Governments have official exchanges in areas such as medical research and education. With Ireland's membership in the European Union (EU), discussions of EU trade and economic policies as well as other aspects of EU policy have also become key elements in the U.S.-Irish relationship.
Irish citizens have continued a common practice of taking temporary residence overseas for work or study, mainly in Australia, the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom (U.K.), and elsewhere in Europe. Along with an increased interest in long-term emigration, there has been a surge of interest in “mid-term” emigration for 3-5 years, which has been mirrored in Irish Government interest in a specialized extended-stay visa for mid-career professionals to live/work in the U.S. The U.S. J-1 visa program is popular means for Irish youths to work temporarily in the United States; a bilateral program expansion in 2008 that provides further opportunities for recent graduates to spend up to 1 year in the United States has been undersubscribed. A high priority of the Irish Government is the need to find a legal remedy for those Irish living out of status in the United States.
Regarding Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, "Nationalist" and "Republican" groups seek a united Ireland that includes Northern Ireland, while "Unionists" and "Loyalists" want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. U.S. priorities continue to be supporting the peace process and devolved political institutions in Northern Ireland and encouraging the implementation of the U.S.-brokered 1998 Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, and the 2006 St. Andrews Agreement.
U.S. Assistance to Ireland
The International Fund for Ireland (IFI), created in 1986, provides funding for projects to generate cross-community engagement and economic opportunity in Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom) and the border counties of Ireland. Since the IFI's establishment, the U.S. Government has contributed over $500 million, roughly half of total IFI funding. The other major donor to IFI is the European Union.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Economic and trade ties are an important facet of overall U.S.-Irish relations. U.S. exports to Ireland include electrical components and equipment, computers and peripherals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and livestock feed. Irish exports to the United States include alcoholic beverages, chemicals and related products, electronic data processing equipment, electrical machinery, textiles and clothing, and glassware. U.S. firms year after year account for over half of Ireland's total exports.
U.S. investment has been particularly important to the growth and modernization of Irish industry over the past 25 years, providing new technology, export capabilities, and employment opportunities. There are approximately 600 U.S. subsidiaries in Ireland that employ roughly 100,000 people and span activities from manufacturing of high-tech electronics, computer products, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals to retailing, banking, finance, and other services. In more recent years, Ireland has also become an important research and development center for U.S. firms in Europe.
Ireland's Membership in International Organizations
Ireland and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Ireland is also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Partnership for Peace program.
The position of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland is currently vacant; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Ireland maintains an embassy in the United States at 2234 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-462-3939). Ireland also maintains consulates general in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
More information about Ireland is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Ireland Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Ireland Page
U.S. Embassy: Ireland
USAID Ireland/Northern Ireland (U.K.) Page
History of U.S. Relations With Ireland
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information