One thing that strikes you shopping in the USA is the amount of products that have 'Made in China' printed on them. I am sure it's the same back in Ireland, but there must be some kind of statutory requirement in America to print the country of origin in a prominent place on the packaging.
Though the trade imbalance with China is one of those 'hot button' issues that flares up from time to time, the fact is that the United States is a key market for many of the world's exporters - including Ireland. This is especially important in terms of Irish growth prospects. Despite the increasingly gloomy outlook for the economy overall, most forecasters expect Irish exports to continue to grow. Evidence for this comes from the recent Eurostat report on industrial output in May: Ireland had the highest rate of monthly growth any of the EU27 nations. A lot of that will have taken the form of trade with the United States - a remarkable achievement, given the strength of the euro against the dollar.
America continues to be the world's largest importer. More importantly, the economy here in the States is not yet in recession (despite the negative trends in US unemployment and inflation). Let's hope the volume of products with 'Made in Ireland' on them continues to grow in the USA for the foreseeable future.