U.S. Relations With Trinidad and Tobago
More information about Trinidad and Tobago is available on the Trinidad and Tobago Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.-TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO RELATIONS
The United States and Trinidad and Tobago enjoy cordial relations. U.S. interests in the country and throughout the hemisphere include increasing investment and trade, enhancing Trinidad and Tobago's political and social development through crime prevention and youth programs, encouraging its positive regional role in the Caribbean Community and the Organization of American States, and strengthening the government’s capacity to deal with foreign terrorist fighters.. The two countries have extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties, and agreements on maritime cooperation and tax information exchange. There are large numbers of U.S. citizens and permanent residents of Trinbagonian origin living in the United States (mostly in New York and Florida), which keeps cultural ties strong. About 145,000 U.S. citizens visit Trinidad and Tobago on vacation or for business every year, and more than 11,500 American citizens are residents.
U.S. Assistance to Trinidad and Tobago
The U.S. Government provides technical assistance to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago through a number of existing agreements. A Customs Advisory Team from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security works with the Ministry of Finance to update its procedures. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, collaborates with the Ministry of Health and regional partners to strengthen HIV/AIDS programs and to build public health capacity to combat mosquito-borne viruses, such as improving laboratory systems and services. Trinidad and Tobago is a participant in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the U.S. government’s regional citizen security and youth development assistance program. In 2015- 2016, the U.S. Government helped the Government of Trinidad and Tobago sign and begin implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The U.S. Embassy’s extensive cultural, sports, and education programs and exchanges strengthened the bilateral relationship, increased economic opportunities for youth, increased their leadership skills, and encouraged them to continue their education and give back to their communities.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Trinidad and Tobago’s $31 billion GDP, driven by the energy sector, makes the economy roughly the size of Vermont’s. The U.S. was Trinidad and Tobago’s sole liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market for many years until increased U.S. domestic production prompted Trinidad and Tobago to diversify its export portfolio. Trinidad and Tobago is facing a gas shortage to both downstream industrial clients and LNG exports. The shortages have impacted U.S. companies and are expected to persist at least until late-2017 when a new gas field is expected to come online. These shortages may undermine TT’s competitiveness, especially in light of increasing U.S. gas supplies.
U.S. commercial ties with the country have always been strong. The U.S. is Trinidad and Tobago’s largest trading partner, with Trinidad and Tobago having a $3.5 billion trade surplus with the U.S. for goods in 2014 thanks to energy and petrochemical exports. Trinidad and Tobago is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative, a trade program intended to facilitate the economic development and export diversification of Caribbean Basin economies through duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods.
Trinidad and Tobago's Membership in International Organizations
Trinidad and Tobago maintains close relations with its Caribbean neighbors and major North American and European trading partners. Trinidad and Tobago and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Trinidad and Tobago maintains an embassy in the United States at 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-467-6490). Anthony Phillips-Spencer is the Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador to the United States.
More information about Trinidad and Tobago is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Trinidad and Tobago Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Trinidad and Tobago Page
U.S. Embassy: Trinidad and Tobago
History of U.S. Relations With Trinidad and Tobago
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page