US Chamber urges Yes vote for ‘the sake of jobs’

A GROUP of US companies based in Ireland, including Intel, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft, have pleaded for a Yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty “for the sake 300,000 jobs”.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland said economic recovery will depend on foreign direct investment and exports and a Yes vote is vital to secure future investment.

The group represents more than 300 US companies in Ireland.

“Future investment and future job creation by these companies will be influenced by our international reputation as being a stable, pro-business place to do business,” said president of the chamber, Paul Duffy, of Pfizer.

“In the volatile global environment, Europe gives us significant economic stability. The perception of Ireland’s influence within the EU is also hugely important to investment decision makers,” he said.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore, said a No vote would be “regarded internationally as an indication that we are becoming semi-detached the EU”.

Speaking from the Oireachtas stand at the Ploughing Championships, Mr Gilmore said: “This would have a negative impact on Ireland’s international reputation, would be a disincentive to further international investment and have a negative impact on job creation.”

However, Sinn Féin accused the Yes side of “pedalling phantom terrors” of the economic consequences of a No vote.

The party’s Dáil leader, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, said: “I fully and absolutely reject that there will be any economic downside.”

“Indeed, all of the statistics would indicate that in 2008, post the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty on June 12 last year, that inward investment in Ireland rose by 14% according to IDA statistics.”

He also claimed that with just over a week to the referendum “the equilibrium between Yes and No at this stage is very, very closely balanced”.

Mr Ó Caoláin said: “The Government are clearly getting the message back from every constituency that they are steadily losing this debate on the Lisbon Treaty.

“Despite opinion polls, there is no question in my mind from attending public meetings throughout the length and breadth of the country that there is an ever growing definite position for a No vote on October 2 among the electorate.”

The Labour Party said the No campaign group, Cóir, have reached a “new low” with posters claiming a Yes vote will lead to the introduction of abortion and euthanasia.

“This campaign is a shameful development of the most cynical kind,” said Senator Phil Prendergast.

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