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Ambassador Armando Varricchio at GEI. The relationship between the United States and Italy is fundamental for the post-Covid recovery.

Washington, May 8, 2020. The Ambassador of Italy Armando Varricchio participated today in a virtual conversation with Mario Platero, President of the Gruppo Esponenti Italiani (GEI) of New York and columnist for La Stampa. During the conversation, which was joined by numerous GEI members, representatives of the italian community and journalists in NY, the Ambassador addressed the main issues in the context of bilateral relations between Italy and the United States. At the outset he recalled the work done by the Embassy and the consular network in the USA to assist italian citizens during the emergency and underlined the role played by Alitalia which maintained until the beginning of May a direct flight from New York to Fiumicino, allowing over 10,000 Italians to return home. The conversation then focused on political and economic relations between the United States and Italy during the emergency and future prospects.

On the anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe during the Second World War, the Ambassador recalled how Italy is firmly linked to the transatlantic family, a community of democracies that identifies itself in shared values ​​and ideals. A fundamental relationship for both countries and essential to recover from the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus and lay the foundations of the post-Covid world, in which the United States, Italy and Europe will be called to play a role of paramount importance. In this context, the Ambassador expressed his desire that the European Union could emerge ever stronger without being stuck between the United States and China. For this, it will be essential that the European “recovery fund” swiftly accompanies the economic support measures launched by the Italian government.

President Trump’s decision to allocate $ 100 million of assistance to Italy to deal with the emergency was recalled. “A very important political act which confirms the solidity of our relations” underlined the Ambassador.

On the economic front, the Ambassador recalled the results of 2019. The trade balance exceeded 100 billion, with a surplus for Italy of of over 30 billion. These numbers will be affected by the crisis. But, as some recent successes of our companies in the USA demonstrate, Italian companies will also be able to overcome this difficult moment. “There are elements of concern due to the interruption of supply chains and difficulties related to travel, but also great opportunities deriving from the acceleration given by digitization, e-commerce and new technologies,” said the Ambassador.

America is a major market for Italian exports but also a top destination for our investments, just as the Italian market remains a reference point for American companies. Microsoft’s decision to invest in Italy 1.5 billion dollars in 5 years for the opening of a data center in the framework of the “Ambizione Italia #digitalRestart” program.

During the Covid-19 emergency, the Ambassador underlined the role of our researchers and scientists in the USA “playing a leading role in the research of the vaccine and the cure for the coronavirus”.