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US mission explores trade opportunities

Published: 
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, centre, and Nirad Tewarie, left, CEO, Amcham T&T, listen attentively to Dexter Payne, deputy chief of mission, US Embassy, Port-of-Spain.

The United States continues to explore opportunities to further trade relations with T&T. A trade delegation from that country recently visited to explore new prospects, create additional linkages and expand networks.

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon told the eight-member delegation: “In the western hemisphere, T&T is ranked as the United States’ 59th trading partner and the largest importer of American goods in Caricom.

“The United States exported over $16 billion worth of products to T&T and imported approximately $19 billion worth of our products.

“Over the last decade, we have maintained a trade surplus with the United States which is in no small part due to the United States Government’s Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI).”

The CBI facilitates development of stable Caribbean economies through provision of duty-free access to the US market for select goods.

Gopee-Scoon said: “The current system of the preferences expires in 2020 and it is anticipated that the United States’ Government will seek a renewal of the waiver of its WTO obligations in order to continue to provide duty free treatment and access to products from Caricom member states including T&T into their market.

“The Government has also commenced work in this regard with the intent of maintaining the arrangement by engaging our regional and international counterparts.”

The United States delegation comprised marine; safety and safety equipment; road building infrastructure; beverage; information and communication technology and professional services firms.

Nirad Tewarie, CEO, American Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AmCham T&T) affirmed that this country “has a very sophisticated business environment and is the place to do business.”

He said the US trade relationship with T&T is of utmost importance to AmCham and the organisation is committed to working with the US Embassy to help US companies take advantage of trade and investment opportunities.

Dexter Payne, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy, said the trade mission signals US confidence in the economy.

“This mission is in keeping with our mission to increase US exports; support the diversification of the economy in T&T and build bilateral relationships between both countries,” he said.

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