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(As prepared)

Thank you, Ambassador Zappía, for your kind words. I’m so glad to be here, especially this week to reinforce our strong relationship with Italy as we welcome Prime Minister Meloni’s new government. The United States looks forward to continuing our vital work together supporting Ukraine and democratic values, countering the PRC’s malign activities, and advancing our shared interests around the world.

So I’m delighted to join the first U.S.-based meeting of the Transatlantic Investment Committee, because direct investment is a cornerstone of our longstanding friendship and economic partnership.

U.S. companies have more than $28 billion invested in Italy, and Italian companies have invested more than $34 billion in the U.S. economy. Those are sizeable numbers and I know they don’t reflect a lot of investment via third countries, but there is still a lot more we can do in both directions.

U.S. companies are increasingly enthusiastic about investment prospects in Italy, particularly as a result of the reforms your government is implementing under of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

We share your conviction that those reforms and critical investments in infrastructure will make the Italian economy more competitive, resilient, and sustainable.

And as my colleague Jasjit Singh from SelectUSA will tell you in a minute, it is a great moment for Italian companies to invest in the American economy.

We have created unprecedented incentives for domestic production in semiconductors, electric vehicles, and other industries of the future. And the recent historic infrastructure bill will make it more efficient than ever to create value in the United States.

The reforms and investments both of our countries are making in our own economies are vital to catalyze long-term growth and safeguard our national security.

Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine, and the People’s Republic of China’s use of industrial espionage around the world have made clear that our legacy supply chains require major changes and we must do more to protect our intellectual property rights.

Your government has provided an excellent example of the actions that likeminded countries need to take to safeguard national economic security.

From the prudent scrutiny of sensitive industries and procurement you conduct under the Golden Power authority, to the rapid moves you’ve made to secure new natural gas supplies in the wake of Russia’s war, your bold moves have made Italy a safer, more sustainable place to invest.

That’s why the Transatlantic Investment Committee’s launch could not come at a more important moment. Italy is one of the United States’ closest partners in the world, and it is critical that our nations deepen linkages that will make our economies more resilient and less dependent on strategic competitors who do not uphold international norms and standards.

Earlier this week President Biden congratulated Prime Minister Meloni and reaffirmed our commitment to build upon our close partnership in the face of pandemic recovery, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, climate change, and other global challenges.

There is no doubt that our economic relationship is at the core of that partnership, and expanding bilateral investment is central to strengthening that bond and safeguarding our shared national interests.

Thank you once again, Ambassador Zappía, for the opportunity to join this important endeavor.

U.S. Department of State

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