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Italy, Detroit working together

Armando Varricchio

Italy and the United States are united by an unwavering alliance and bond of friendship forged in the aftermath of World War II. At the end of the conflict, the U.S. helped to consolidate democracy in Europe and bolster the economic recovery of nations, including Italy, which were emerging from the ashes of war. In time, NATO and the European Union became a beacon of democracy and freedom on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the world.

These values constitute the foundation of the relationship between Italy and the United States. They are the bedrock of an outstanding cooperation that encompasses growth, prosperity, peace and security. The conviction that we are stronger when united is deeply rooted in our societies and will not falter.

President Trump is now visiting Europe for his second time and will be there again next week. In his first European trip, at the end of May, he visited Rome — where he met with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni for the second time — and Taormina where he attended the G7 Summit. The meetings with the Italian prime minister represent a vivid testament to the strength and vitality of the bond between Washington and Rome.

Italy and the United States are engaged together in fighting the scourge of terrorism, promoting stability and defending human rights throughout the world. From Afghanistan to Iraq, our men and women in uniform contribute to global security (we have the second largest contingent in both countries), while training local authorities and police forces to do the same for their citizens.

Italian and American researchers and academics from different backgrounds work to make advancements in science and push further the limits of our knowledge in order to shape a better future for the next generations. Businesses in the U.S. and Italy cooperate to develop cutting-edge technologies and to deliver state-of-the-art products which improve the quality of our lives. The depth of our cooperation in all realms also benefits from the presence of millions of Americans who are proud of their Italian descent and from an ever-growing interest in Italian language, art, literature and, more broadly, the Italian way of life.

The Great Lakes State and the city of Detroit are an integral part of this reality. Detroit is home to one of the largest Italian-American communities in the U.S. Its landscape is dotted by outstanding works by architect Corrado Parducci, including the Guardian and the Penobscot buildings. The Detroit Institute of Arts hosts incredible Italian masterpieces, such as Botticelli’s “Resurrected Christ” and “Retiro” a sculpture by contemporary artist Mimmo Paladino. Furthermore, Italian companies are interested in harnessing the potential of cooperation with local agencies, universities, institutions and businesses, and have invested in Michigan and Detroit. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is developing plants in Michigan and in the last five years Italian firms have invested more than one billion dollars in the state, creating jobs and new opportunities for many.

In recent years, Detroit has earned the nickname of “America’s comeback city” thanks to its economic performance. As the Italian ambassador, I am proud that Italy, its people, its businesses and its culture have contributed to these achievements. I trust that on these premises, Italy’s presence in Detroit and Michigan will continue to expand further benefiting our countries and our people.

Armando Varricchio is ambassador of Italy

to the United States.