First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones: Strengthening the bond between Wales and the US

Guest Commentary

It has been a privilege to visit the United States once again this week to demonstrate Wales’s enduring commitment to strengthening our cross-national relationship. During my visit I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with old colleagues and friends as well as fostering bridges with new ones, including Congressman Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Overnight Energy: Senate Dems introduce Green New Deal alternative | Six Republicans named to House climate panel | Wheeler confirmed to lead EPA Six Republicans named to House climate panel MORE (R-Va.), who spearheaded the Friends of Wales Caucus that I launched on Capitol Hill this week. 

The caucus is made up of lawmakers from across the country, each of whom has close links with Wales through business, education and family connections. I’m confident that the group will give our nation a powerful voice at the heart of the U.S. government. It will provide strong support and give us an excellent platform to promote Wales as a first-rate destination for business, culture and tourism. 

The bipartisan group has been made possible thanks to the work of Rep. Griffith, who has long been a strong supporter of Wales. Since the caucus’ launch a few days ago, its membership has more than doubled — a marker of the bond that exists between our countries. Indeed, our strong and historic links with the U.S. date back to the very foundation of the Union and continue to this day, with many Welsh and U.S. citizens contributing to public life on both sides of the Atlantic in business, politics and culture.  

The new caucus will expand Wales’s existing presence in the US. The Welsh Government currently has a presence across your great nation, with offices in San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago, providing valuable gateways to attract trade and investment and to strengthen our economic and cultural links.

Throughout my visit this week, my message has been loud and clear. Wales has shed old stereotypes to emerge as a strong contender in business as well as a cultural and tourist hub. I’m confident the caucus will help us spread this message far and wide.  

This fall the NATO summit will be held in Newport, South Wales. This is possibly the biggest diplomatic gathering to be held in Britain, and the fact that Wales was chosen to host speaks volumes of our international reputation. If President Obama’s attendance is confirmed, it will be the first visit by a serving U.S. president to Wales, meaning the eyes of the world really will be on us. We fully intend to maximise the opportunities arising from this event.

I’d like to thank each of the congressmen to have joined the Friends of Wales Caucus for displaying their strong affinity with our nation, including Reps. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) Gerlach2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline Pennsylvania Republican Costello won't seek reelection MORE (R-Pa.), Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindAmerica's workers and small business owners need the SECURE Act Blood cancer patients deserve equal access to the cure Democrats see whistleblower report as smoking gun MORE (D-Wis.), Kenny Marchant (R-Texas), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsPopulation shifts set up huge House battleground The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today MORE (R-Texas), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Robert HurtRobert HurtThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — GOP faces ‘green wave’ in final stretch to the midterms Democrat defeats controversial chair of House Wall Street subpanel Republican groups launch final ad blitz in key House battlegrounds MORE (R-Va.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGraham, Van Hollen introduce Turkey sanctions bill Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show GOP senators say Erdoğan White House invitation should be revoked MORE (R-Tenn.) and Steve StockmanStephen (Steve) Ernest StockmanConsequential GOP class of 1994 all but disappears Former aide sentenced for helping ex-congressman in fraud scheme Former congressman sentenced to 10 years in prison for campaign finance scheme MORE (R-Texas). I also look forward to welcoming members to Wales in the future so they can experience for themselves all the things that make us so proud to be Welsh — from our language and culture to our sport and spectacular scenery.

Diolch yn fawr am y croeso cynnes / Thank you very much for your warm welcome. 

Jones is first minister of Wales.