Northern Ireland

Arlene Foster: FM 'hopes US firms will invest in NI' with lower corporation tax

Arlene Foster speaking to the media in the grounds of Stormont's Parliament Buildings Image copyright PA
Image caption Arlene Foster said a lower rate of corporation tax was an 'extra tool' for Northern Ireland to attract foreign direct investment

Arlene Foster has said she hopes US firms will invest in Northern Ireland, despite calls from both frontrunners in the US presidential race to put America first for jobs.

Mrs Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are visiting the United States as part of St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The first minister was speaking to the BBC's Inside Business programme.

She said that a lower corporation tax rate in NI was a major advantage.

The tax cut was agreed as part of the Fresh Start deal and is due to take effect in 2018.

'Strong proposition'

It means companies in Northern Ireland will have profits taxed at 12.5% compared to 19% in the rest of the UK.

"When [President] Obama came into office, that was a big element of what he wanted to do, bring jobs back to America," she said.

"But, we think we have a very strong proposition, we always have had a strong proposition but now we have an extra tool - a very good tool - in our tool kit, and we will be talking to those companies that perhaps felt we didn't have that tax offering we have now, and that opens doors for us."

This interview will be broadcast in full on Inside Business with Wendy Austin on BBC Radio Ulster on Sunday, 13 March at 13:30 GMT.

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