The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Antonio Tajani, will be on an official mission to the United States from tomorrow, 11 June, until Wednesday, 14 June 2023.
During his mission to Washington – aimed at further strengthening the excellent bilateral relations and coordination on major international issues, also in view of the Italian G7 Presidency in 2024 – the Deputy Prime Minister will first of all meet the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. This will be an opportunity to reaffirm the strategic importance of the transatlantic link, which for over 70 years has been the guiding star of Italy’s external action, and to emphasise the Italian government’s great appreciation for the very close coordination within NATO, in the G7 and in the Quint format, on all major international issues, ranging from Ukraine to the Middle East, from Africa to China and the Indo-Pacific region.
In his meeting with Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Minister Tajani will raise the issue of the financial crisis in Tunisia, reiterating the need to reach final approval of the Extended Fund Facility for the benefit of the country as soon as possible. The Deputy Prime Minister will report on his close contacts, in recent weeks, with the Tunisian authorities and with the main European and international partners, aimed at identifying a pragmatic and gradual approach to reach an agreement that is fundamental to the country’s economic stabilisation.
The visit will also be an opportunity to deepen bilateral cooperation at economic and trade levels, a topic at the centre of the talks with the US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai. The USA is Italy’s first trading partner outside the EU, and the third destination market for Italian exports. Trade between the two countries is growing significantly: in 2022 it reached EUR 90 billion (+38% compared to 2021), with Italian exports amounting to EUR 65 billion (+32%) and a positive trade balance of EUR 40 billion. The main items of Italian exports are machinery (17%), means of transport (16%), pharmaceuticals (11%), foodstuffs (10%) and textiles and clothing (9%).
During the visit Minister Tajani will also address the Organisation of American States in the presence of Secretary General Luis Almagro and representatives of the Member States.
He will finally go to Congress for a series of important meetings with leaders of the US Parliament, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, the third highest-ranking official in the US system, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Bob Menendez.