Acting ambassador praises strong US-North East links

James Rambotham, Chamber chief executive; Mike Paterson, from Northern; US Ambassador Lewis Lukens; Coun Paul Watson and Irene Lucas, Sunderland City Council; and John McCabe, Chamber President.
James Rambotham, Chamber chief executive; Mike Paterson, from Northern; US Ambassador Lewis Lukens; Coun Paul Watson and Irene Lucas, Sunderland City Council; and John McCabe, Chamber President.

Hundreds of leading North-East businessmen and women heard the US Acting Ambassador Lewis Lukens emphasise the importance of the close relationship between America and the region last week.

He told the guests at the North East England Chamber of Commerce President Club’s lunch, held at Washington Old Hall, how the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom remains as strong as ever after years of shared challenges.

Mr Lukens said: “The United States and United Kingdom are providing the global leadership that cements our enduring partnership and makes our countries more secure.

“Today, we stand together as committed partners working to shape the opportunities of tomorrow.”

“Bilateral economic ties between the North East and the US are strong. Nearly a fifth of the region’s trade is with the United States.

“Your region has shown characteristic resilience through tough times.

“Now the economy is more mixed, with knowledge-based businesses doing very well and the number of tech start-ups among the highest in the country.

“North Easterners are some of the friendliest and proudest people I’ve met. I look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the North East well beyond my visit today.”

Chamber president John McCabe said: “Providing the name given to America’s new capital was an early example of the fantastic trade ties between our region and the United States – ties that remain incredibly strong to this day. Indeed, the US is our biggest, individual export market.”

Sunderland is the only non-capital city to have a friendship agreement with Washington DC.