Members of Congress to visit Scotland

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A delegation of senior US politicians will visit Scotland this summer to strengthen the country’s relationship with the US Congress.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the visit when he attended the annual Tartan Day reception hosted by the Friends of Scotland Congressional caucus at the US Capitol Building in Washington DC earlier this week.

The FM has been in New York and Washington DC during this past week where he undertook several business meetings, delivered keynote speeches and attended Scotland Week events.

Speaking before leaving Washington, Mr Salmond said:

“I’ve been delighted to promote Scotland in the US during Scotland Week and I am particularly pleased that more senior politicians from the US Congress will visit Scotland in August. 

“This is a great opportunity to further strengthen the links between Scotland and the US and to promote Scotland as a dynamic, innovative nation, with competitive advantage in key sectors, such as financial services, low carbon technologies, life sciences and the creative industries.

“The Friends of Scotland Caucus does a great job in making sure that Scotland has a powerful voice on Capitol Hill, with nearly 40 representatives in the world’s most powerful legislature which  is a fantastic tribute to our nation.” 

As well as viewing preparations for Scotland’s Year of Homecoming in 2014, the US delegation will meet policy and economic development experts to learn more about Scotland’s economic position and the potential for increased trade with the US.

Congressman John Duncan, Co-Chairman of Friends of Scotland Caucus, said: 

“It was President Woodrow Wilson who once said, ‘Every line of strength in American history is a line colored with Scottish blood.’  Today, there are many millions of people inside the United States of Scottish ancestry, and there is perhaps no other Nation that has influenced American history more. The Friends of Scotland Caucus in Congress has been influential in celebrating this bond, and we are grateful the First Minister is making an official trip to the United States.  We look forward to many exchanges between our Nations in 2013, including the planned Congressional Delegation to Scotland in August.”   

Friends of Scotland Caucus was set up in 2006 and is a bi-partisan caucus. Since its establishment there have been two visits to Scotland by US Congress. The caucus currently has 38 members and, since its inception, has sponsored the annual national celebration of Tartan Day on Capitol Hill. 

The Scottish Parliament announced earlier this week that a separate influential group of legislative leaders from the US will also meet in Holyrood this summer. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will take place on July 10-12 in Holyrood bringing together house speakers, senate presidents, majority and minority leaders from state legislatures in 50 states.