Opening Bell: May meets Trump, Noonan's Brexit promise, 100 jobs for Clare

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to become the first leader to visit US President Donald Trump since his inauguration.

Mrs May and Mr Trump will spend about an hour in face-to-face talks later today in the Oval Office.

The main topics of conversation are expected to be Britain's hopes of a free trade deal following Brexit and the two countries' shared security concerns.

Speaking to reporters on her flight to the US, ahead of a well-received speech to leading Republicans in Philadelphia, Mrs May said President Trump shared some of her political values.

She said: "I think we both share a desire to ensure that governments work for everyone and particularly that governments are working for ordinary working class families.

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The visit comes after Donald Trump's administration suggested taxing imports from Mexico to fund the controversial border wall between the two countries.

Donald Trump wants to put a 20% tax on all imports from Mexico, which would raise $10bn a year and "easily pay for the wall", according to a White House spokesman.

Mr Trump has said US taxpayers will initially fund the wall, while insisting its southern neighbour will eventually "100%" foot the bill as he accused Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto of not treating America "fairly" and "with respect".

A planned meeting between the two leaders has now been cancelled.

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100 engineering and manufacturing jobs have been announced for Co. Clare.

The new positions are part of a €7m expansion of Element Six's operation in Shannon.

The vacancies are in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing.

It's expected that the 100 jobs will be filled by the first half of this year, and the recruitment process is already underway.

The new jobs will bring Element Six's workforce in Shannon to 550.

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Speaking in Brussels, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has reiterated that there will be no attempts to stage bilateral Brexit talks between Ireland the UK.

"The negotiating position is that we're on the European Union team of 27 and we're part of that negotiation ... So there won't be bilateral negotiations with the British authorities, but there will be a very strong sharing of information," he said.

Mr Noonan added that there will be a "very strong sharing of information" between London and Dublin.

 

Additional reporting IRN