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US – Trinidad and Tobago discusses security and trade

By Caribbean News Global fav

WASHINGTON, USA – Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley met with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in Washington, DC Monday 29 January 2024, underscores the strength of the bilateral relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, PM Rowley expressed in a social media post.

“Both countries continue to partner on several key issues including energy, education, crime prevention, training, and technical assistance,” Prime Minister Rowley added. “Discussions focussed specifically on national security and firearms trafficking and the work being advanced through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which is the US regional citizen security and development programme.”

Prime Minister Rowley reported that “talks touched on the historical and emerging issues surrounding Venezuela as it relates to Trinidad and Tobago’s pathway towards achieving energy security for the region. The agenda also included a conversation on collaborating to strengthen cyber and digital policy and the approach to the ongoing instability in Haiti.”

United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai and Prime Minister Keith Rowley

The United States remains Trinidad and Tobago’s largest trading partner

Earlier today Prime Minister Rowley also met with United States trade representative, ambassador Katherine Tai, who as a member of the president’s cabinet is the chief trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on US trade policy.

The prime minister and ambassador Tai advanced their ideas on further strengthening the bilateral economic partnership and opportunities to expand trade. This included examining views on improvements that can be made to widen participation in the Caribbean Basin Initiative, secure supply chain management and ensure that trade policies are people-centred.

Members of Prime Minister Rowley’s delegations present for today’s meetings comprised minister of foreign and CARICOM affairs, senator Dr Amery Browne, minister of energy and energy industries and minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young, minister of digital transformation, senator Hassel Bacchus and chief of defence staff of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, Air Vice-Marshal Darryl Daniel.

Secretary Blinken and Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley before their meeting said:

Secretary Blinken: “… Trinidad and Tobago is a vital partner for the United States, and we are working together in many areas, including to advance energy security and climate resilience – something that the people of Trinidad and Tobago feel very strongly. And we’re doing this, in particular, under the United States-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis, which is a vital initiative that our countries are engaged in.

We’re partnering as well to fight violent crime and firearms trafficking, and this is a priority for the work that we’re doing, as well as of course seeking and building up prosperity and opportunity in the region as a whole. We have vital work that we’re doing as well to address other regional challenges, whether it’s in Venezuela or whether it’s in Haiti. But in all of these areas and others, including the strengthening of our own bilateral ties, which I’ve been very, very pleased to see over the last couple of years, this really is a vital partnership. 

“And I’m just grateful, Prime Minister, to have you here in Washington, especially after the very both memorable and positive visit to Port of Spain last year. So welcome.”

Prime Minister Rowley: “… I am very pleased that in a very hectic schedule that you are engaged in that you would have made the time to receive my delegation.  And the relationship between the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider CARICOM, it’s extremely important to us. And we keep emphasizing that it’s also important to the United States. 

“The US, our major trading partner, and with a lot of our citizens residing in and working and living in the United States – I think every time I go to an office on these trips, I meet some national from Trinidad and Tobago, or whose parentage is of Trinidad and Tobago, in the United States. 

“We are very proud of the international obligations that we meet. And we keep emphasizing that we might be small, but we are not insignificant. And we acknowledge our trading relations, our diplomatic situations, and the challenges in the Caribbean that you mention. So, in recent years, we are happy that we’ve been – we have raised issues with you, and you have in fact been taking them on board. The safety and security challenges are extremely important to us, and the energy security matters of day-to-day conversations. And we believe that you are part of that, and thanks for being a part of it.”



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