The initial reaction in the US to the abolition of the so-called "Double Irish" and the introduction of new investment incentives has been positive.

The National Foreign Trade Council - which represents US companies with operations abroad - said it did not believe US companies would leave Ireland because of the taxation changes.

The Council said its members had been expecting the Government to make changes because of the ongoing pressure on Ireland's reputation due to international concerns from the BEPS project and the European Union's state aid investigation.

The Council said it was "pleased" that the Minister for Finance had said the 12.5% corporate tax rate would be retained.

The group representing companies operating in Ireland also said it was "encouraged" that the base would be removed from the R&D tax credit.

The Council's Vice President for Tax Policy, Cathy Schultz, told RTÉ News that they were "very supportive" of the development of a "Knowledge Development Box", adding that she felt this would attract additional investment into Ireland.

She also said that she did not believe the abolition of the so-called "Double Irish" would cause US companies to leave Ireland. 

Ms Schultz said setting 2020 as the deadline for existing companies would allow plenty of time for the “grandfathering” of those companies so they would have time to make changes as necessary.

The National Foreign Trade Council said US companies are doing business in Ireland "for many reasons and the low corporate tax rate is just one of them", and "that is not changing".

Ms Schultz said that the existing R&D structure in Ireland was attractive and that other incentives that would be added, like the Knowledge Box, would retain companies, and that she expected the scheme to be as "incentivising" as the Patent Box had been in the UK.

The US National Foreign Trade Council said it believes the Government has been "very open in encouraging businesses to invest in Ireland", and that this Budget was "realistic" in terms of dealing with the issues Ireland was facing, without penalising business.

A spokesperson for Grant Thornton's US-Irish business division said the changes were "broadly positive" and the announcement removed the uncertainty that investors had been living with for months.

He said the six-year deadline for the changes to tax residency gave companies plenty of time to restructure their taxation arrangements if required.

Peter Vale said that he felt the improvements to the Intellectual Property regime, the R&D tax credits and the new Knowledge Box were all very attractive to business.

He also said that he did not feel the changes would cause business to leave Ireland and that the 2020 deadline was important as it meant companies wouldn't pull out immediately.

But he said it was important that following Mr Noonan's consultation period, that the Knowledge Box was rolled out sooner rather than later.