Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Niall Collins TD has expressed his major concern at comments made by President Elect Donald Trump regarding his plan to repatriate pharmaceutical jobs. He has also questioned the Government’s failure to spell out any plan to respond to the emerging threats to jobs in US owned companies here.

Deputy Collins commented, “While there was much within the President Elect’s first press conference to consider, his opening remarks where he took aim at the US pharmaceutical industry and their overseas operations is a cause of major concern.

“According to IDA figures, more than 50,000 people here are employed by pharmaceutical and medical device companies, the majority of which are from the US. Any action, or threat of action against those companies by the incoming US administration, is a threat to our industrial policy and needs to be met with great focus and energy.

“My concern is that we have seen no evidence of any such focus or energy from the Jobs Minister or from anywhere in Government.

“Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor talked previously about her ‘disgust’ for the President Elect but maintained that if he was elected she would work with him. Now he has been elected and talks repeatedly about forcing US companies to repatriate manufacturing to the US. The response from the Jobs Minister is silence.

“I’m conscious that there are clearly problems within the Minister’s Office, with the departure of two key advisers in a very short period of time, but the Minister needs to get a grip of her portfolio and urgently start showing some leadership.

“We need to beef up our trade expertise in diplomatic missions in the US and make sure that we have an appropriate influencing strategy in place to deal with the incoming administration. Sitting tight and hoping that it works out, which would appear to be the Minister’s current strategy, isn’t good enough.”