Ireland and the US are two countries that connect the two continents of America and Europe, and communication between the two is very important in terms of trade. The United States and Ireland have tried to put aside their differences to a large extent so as not to damage this relationship, but with UK’s withdrawal from the EU, trade relations between Northern Ireland, Ireland and European countries have been hampered, and this indirectly affects US-European trade. Joe Biden, with an Irish family background, has always emphasised on friendly relations with Ireland since he became known in American politics, and now, as the president of the United States, he is trying to maintain better and broader relations with Ireland and Northern Ireland, not letting Britain’s withdrawal from the EU act as an obstacle on this path.
- US-Ireland Relations
Irish immigrants built America: Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Irish helped build America, both as a country and as an ideology. Physically, from the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the mines of Montana, this nation’s infrastructure bears an indelible Irish imprint. US relations with Ireland have long been based on common ancestral ties and shared values. In addition to regular dialogue on political and economic issues, the US and Irish governments benefit from a robust slate of exchanges in areas such as commerce, culture, education, and scientific research. With Ireland’s membership in the European Union (EU), discussions of EU trade and economic policies, as well as other aspects of broader EU policy, constitute key elements in the US-Ireland relations.
Many Irish citizens take temporary residence overseas for work or study, mainly in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), and elsewhere in Europe. The Summer Work Travel category of the US Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program allows Irish youth to participate in a cultural and educational enrichment programme that includes temporary and seasonal work and the opportunity to travel in the United States. Exchange visitors are required to return home after their programme has ended.
In Northern Ireland, “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. The United States seeks to support the peace process and devolved political institutions in Northern Ireland by encouraging the implementation of the US-brokered 1998 Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement).
- Joe Biden and Ireland
Joe Biden and, the importance of his Irish heritage to him, and how he carries it with him always: Joe Biden is hugely proud of his Irish roots. The 46th President of the US frequently quotes Seamus Heaney in his speeches and proudly celebrated his ancestral links to Ireland. In a St Patrick’s Day address on Twitter, Biden made a point during the first presidential debate of bringing up his roots and religion.
Biden’s great-grandfather, James Finnegan, emigrated from County Louth as a child, in 1850. All eight of his great-great-grandparents on his mother’s side were born in Ireland during the first half of the 19th century. On his father’s side, two great-grandparents were also born in Ireland. Essentially that makes him five-eighths Irish.
Biden considers himself Irish. An exchange between the US President and BBC New York correspondent Nick Bryant from his time on the campaign trail famously went viral following Biden’s response to a quick question. Asked if he would speak to the BBC, the Democrat replied: “The BBC? I’m Irish.”
Further proof of Biden’s sense of Irishness can be found in a letter the former vice president wrote ahead of a visit to Ireland back in 2016. In the letter, he wrote: “As Americans, we all hail from many homes. Somewhere along the line, someone in our lineage arrived on our shores, filled with hope. We are blessed to experience that simultaneous pride in where we’ve found ourselves, while never forgetting our roots.
“James Joyce wrote, ‘When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.’ “Well, Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul. And as we join the world in celebrating everything that Ireland has become, and indeed everything that she has always been, I could not be more honored to be returning.”
- Joe Biden and Brexit
The protocol on Northern Ireland proved to be the trickiest element of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement to negotiate. The version that was finally agreed to by both sides sees the EU’s customs code and regulatory rules applying in Northern Ireland. In avoiding a hard border for the movement of goods on the island of Ireland, there are new frictions on the movement of goods within the United Kingdom (across the Irish Sea). Implementing the protocol is a complex practical as well as political challenge. What it means in practice is largely dependent on the nature of the UK-EU relationship.
This will put Ireland in an economic dilemma and resurrect the debate on secession and injustice against Ireland. Critics of partition argue that it contributes to the perpetuation, rather than the amelioration, of territorial conflict. The island has been partitioned into two polities for a century. Opposition to the partition of Ireland has existed from the outset to present-day Brexit. The argument is that while hostility to partition has experienced different forms, namely political violence with different degrees of intensity, there is a historical continuum of contestation against partition in Ireland. While the territorial issue was solved by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Brexit has reanimated the border question, providing political momentum for those who aim to challenge the territorial status quo.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the intervention from US President Joe Biden on the row over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit position was “significant”. President Biden ordered US officials to issue Boris Johnson with an extraordinary diplomatic rebuke for imperiling the Northern Ireland peace process over Brexit.
US president Joe Biden’s extraordinary intervention on Northern Ireland is ‘significant’. Taoiseach Micheál Martin Yael Lempert, America’s most senior diplomat in Britain, told Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, at a meeting that the government was “inflaming” tensions in Ireland and Europe with its opposition to checks at ports in the province. The president is said to have approved a rare diplomatic “demarche” – used more often between rivals than allies – over the trade row that Brexit sparked.
Joseph E Stiglitz: Spending is the right way to oil the gears and get the global economy roaring again US government warns UK about ‘inflaming’ tensions in Ireland and the EU ahead of Biden meeting with Johnson. President Biden’s commitments on Ireland are a cause for great optimism. The Taoiseach said he believes President Biden is growing impatient over the post-Brexit trade row which is focused on the divisive Northern Ireland Protocol. Mr Martin said he did not see Mr President’s intervention on the Protocol before his meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “reprimand”, but rather said Mr Biden is seeking to find a solution to the trade dispute.
“He wants a strong restoration of the transatlantic relationship between Europe and the United States, and UK as part of that, and I think that’s why he’s probably articulating a degree of impatience with what he would believe to be something that can be resolved,” the Taoiseach said.
One of the things that can connect two different lands, even on two separate continents, is culture. From the very beginning, The United States has had a strong connection with Ireland, especially on the East Coast. Boston, New York and many other cities along this coastline were places where Irish immigrants settled over many generations.
The United States has used this policy and has even repeatedly stated that it is the roots of a large group of early Irish Americans. The United States was even involved in the Belfast affair on Friday. Also Joe Biden’s passion for Ireland is indescribable and unhidden.
Joe Biden’s presidency coincided with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The issue of the EU withdrawal left Northern Ireland and Ireland with problems that also jeopardised US interests in trade relations with Ireland and Europe, and could pose a serious problem for Britain because of the background of US involvement in British affairs.