President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Ireland Edward Crawford is a step closer to taking up his post after a confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Edward Crawford, 80, a billionaire businessman from Cleveland whose parents emigrated from Ireland in the 1920s, said the Good Friday Agreement should be upheld, but that Brexit was “something that has to be settled by the two parties most concerned, that is the EU and the U.K.”
Crawford’s manufacturing companies, Park-Ohio Industries, and the Edward Crawford Group employ more than 7,500. He has a distribution business in Cork City that employs 17.
“During my 58 years of building this company, I learned a great deal about people, problems and opportunities," said Crawford.
“If I am confirmed, I will bring this experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm to the post of U.S. ambassador to Ireland, strengthening the Irish relationship.”
Crawford received bipartisan support at the hearing from Ohio’s two senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman.
“Mr. Crawford’s life makes clear the Irish often succeed beyond their wildest dreams,” said Brown. “Today, it is more important than ever that we have a thoughtful, skilled ambassador in Dublin to negotiate the intricacies of our two countries’ relations, especially with the U.K. poised to leave the European Union.”
Portman said Crawford is “highly qualified.”
“Ireland and the United States have so many close economic ties and as we navigate the challenges associated with the future, I’m glad that someone of his acumen and relationship with the president has the opportunity to be in that ambassador role,” said Portman. “He will be instantly respected by the Irish both for his background and intellect, but also for his deep love of the country, and embracing the Irish as he does.”
As Congress is currently on a two-week spring recess, Crawford’s nomination will not be voted on by the full Senate until at least May.