The impact of Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol on NI’s supply chain were top of the agenda last week when Logistics UK’s Policy Manager for Northern Ireland, Seamus Leheny, met with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, at the White House St Patrick’s Day Reception. As part of a week-long visit to the US capital, the meeting gave Leheny the opportunity to outline Logistics UK’s work to support the country’s supply chain and pinpoint areas of concern.
Mr Leheny comments: “It was a huge honour to be invited to the White House to represent the work of Logistics UK, and to have the chance to outline the extensive work Logistics UK has been doing over Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol with President Biden. I also thanked the President and his administration for their work with the EU and UK in reaching an agreed solution to the NI Protocol that will protect NI trade. He was keen to discuss the need for solutions that work for Northern Ireland and its economy and encouraged our members to maintain their focus on protecting the supply chain.” Other senior politicians from America, Northern Ireland and Ireland were also in attendance at the reception, hosted by the President and the First Lady, to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and discuss US future trade with Ireland.
While in Washington, Mr Leheny also participated in several senior meetings alongside members of the US State Department and Department of Commerce, the US Consul General to NI and the American Trucking Association (ATA). Topics discussed included the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as comparisons between the challenges both nations are facing in logistics, in which ideas and strategies for solutions were shared. He was also a guest at the Ireland Fund’s 30th Gala Dinner – one of the most prestigious gatherings of Irish America over St Patrick’s Day – during which President Joe Biden addressed guests.
Mr Leheny continues: “It was great to be invited to America to participate and represent the interests of our members. The President was very warm and understood the issues we are facing, and we look forward to working with our American counterparts to build trading opportunities in the future.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk