Thursday, 11 March 2010
Feargal Quinn (Independent)
I appreciate what the Minister of State said. Currently, no containers are trading directly between Irish ports and the United States. The Minister of State confirmed my figures. This would have a huge effect at European level. Obviously, therefore, it would have an effect on Ireland. I am pleased an investigation is taking place and that it looks likely there will be a two-year extension. The matter has been put off for two years but it is of such importance that I urge the Department to emphasise that we cannot allow this to happen or ignore it. I am not sure how easy it will be to solve the problem because the United States will be loath to step back from something it proposed. While I am pleased with the information the Minister of State gave, I am disappointed that no containers are trading directly between Ireland and the United States, although Irish containers pass through other European ports.