Clinton encourages U.S. companies to create jobs in Northern Ireland — to promote peace

Normally, U.S. officials and politicians want American companies to create jobs in the United States and keep jobs at home, but today, Secretary Clinton encouraged U.S. business executives to create jobs across the ocean in Northern Ireland. Doing so might sound counterintuitive to many Americans, but creating jobs in Northern Ireland serves a good cause ...

U.S. State Dept., video screen shot
U.S. State Dept., video screen shot
U.S. State Dept., video screen shot

Normally, U.S. officials and politicians want American companies to create jobs in the United States and keep jobs at home, but today, Secretary Clinton encouraged U.S. business executives to create jobs across the ocean in Northern Ireland. Doing so might sound counterintuitive to many Americans, but creating jobs in Northern Ireland serves a good cause -- peace.

At a U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference she hosted in Washington today, Clinton praised the 1,000 new jobs that American companies have created recently in Northern Ireland and explained, "[A] stronger economy in Northern Ireland will help secure a lasting peace. And peace in Northern Ireland is a bedrock foreign-policy priority for the United States."

In her remarks, she went on to add:

Normally, U.S. officials and politicians want American companies to create jobs in the United States and keep jobs at home, but today, Secretary Clinton encouraged U.S. business executives to create jobs across the ocean in Northern Ireland. Doing so might sound counterintuitive to many Americans, but creating jobs in Northern Ireland serves a good cause — peace.

At a U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference she hosted in Washington today, Clinton praised the 1,000 new jobs that American companies have created recently in Northern Ireland and explained, "[A] stronger economy in Northern Ireland will help secure a lasting peace. And peace in Northern Ireland is a bedrock foreign-policy priority for the United States."

In her remarks, she went on to add:

[E]conomic opportunities are what we are focusing on today because we know that to survive, peace must be visible beyond the halls of government or even the meeting places where former adversaries come together to work out their differences. It must be seen in daily improvements in people’s lives, not just in the absence of violence, but the presence of good jobs, business starts, skills learned, communities recovered from decline.

Essentially, Clinton understands that for there to be long-lasting peace, people must have jobs and some sense of economic security. She acknowledged that when many Americans, particularly American business executives, have heard the words "Northern Ireland," they haven’t exactly thought "investment opportunities." But Clinton said that mentality has been changing recently, and more people are associating Northern Ireland with "reconciliation, hope, and opportunity."

Of the 1,000 new jobs created by American companies in Northern Ireland, Clinton mentioned 100 positions established by GE Energy and over 300 in the New York Stock Exchange’s Belfast office. She also hailed Dow Chemical’s announcement that it was starting a supply-chain consulting service in Belfast.

The video of her complete remarks is below:

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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