AMCHAM T&T's Hosts 
U.S. Congressional Delegation


A MCHAM T&T hosted a special cocktail reception with its members in honour of the visiting US Congressional Delegation to T&T on July 5th, 2023, at the Brix Hotel in St. Ann’s, Trinidad. The delegation, which was led by senior members of Congress - Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt - Assistant Secretary - Bureau of Energy Resources, and Hakeem Jeffries - Congressmember for NY-8 District, was visiting Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of CARICOM.

Also present were: 

  • Janie Thompson - Deputy Assistant Secretary for House Affairs
  • Rep.  Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa) - Member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Member of the Natural Resources Committee, and Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5) - Ranking Member, Foreign Affairs Committee & Member of the Financial Services Committee
  • Rep. Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV-4) - Chair, Congressional Black Caucus, Member of the Financial Services Committee, and Member of the Armed Services Committee
  • Rep. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9) - Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce & Member of the Committee on Homeland Security
  • Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3) - Member of the Committee on Financial Services
  • Rep. Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) - Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence & Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Deputy Chief of Mission, Shante Moore – U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain

The event provided an opportunity to advance the strong relationship between AMCHAM T&T and the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension the United States, our country’s major trading partner. It also signalled AMCHAM T&T’s high-level reach and influence with our U.S. counterparts, which provided opportunities to increase collaboration around enhancing trade between our respective countries.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5), Ranking Member, Foreign Affairs Committee & Member of the Financial Services Committee, who delivered welcome remarks on behalf of the US Congressional Delegation, said: “The next set of our Ambassadors are our American businesses. AMCHAM represents America also. You make us look good. You are the ones that I know that when we talk about ‘America can compete with anybody, anyplace in the world’. It is because of you and the businesses and the interests that you bring to Trinidad and Tobago and all over the world.

“And so, I want to say thank you, because what you do by bringing us together. When you see people who are hired by your businesses that are here, you make the United States a better place, because when they are working for you, they see better working standards, higher pay. They see organisation. They see a better way of life. And that then makes it better for all of us around the planet.” 

A t the short opening ceremony, AMCHAM T&T CEO Nirad Tewarie spoke about three important areas of mutual interest between the U.S. and T&T to promote sustainable development i.e., enhancing trade, championing the rule of law, and energy security.


Enhancing Trade

“On behalf of AMCHAM T&T, I would like to emphasise to this Congressional Delegation that we see increasing trade between our countries as a critical component of our sustainable development. If we could wave a magic wand, we would facilitate an exponential increase in U.S. investment in Trinidad and Tobago, because the United States business community has done a significant amount to improve the rule of law, raise Health and Safety and Labour standards and contribute to our high level of business sophistication,” Tewarie said. “Since we can’t do that, we will work toward expanding the utilisation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative, connecting our burgeoning tech sector more deeply with that of the U.S., likely starting with Atlanta. We are in the early stages of discussions with the Embassy and, by extension, US AID to develop and execute a project to tangibly enhance trade between our countries.”

Rule of Law

To underpin this, Tewarie said AMCHAM T&T would continue to champion enhancements in the rule of law.  Representatives of the U.S. Embassy sit on the Chamber’s recently established Rule of Law Committee, working with its partners and stakeholders to align efforts to ensure a more conducive business environment and fairer society.


Energy Security

On the issue of energy security, Tewarie outlined the importance of the Dragon Gas field discussions, which could strengthen energy security both domestically and might prove beneficial to other countries in this hemisphere and beyond. “You are all well aware that Trinidad and Tobago’s medium-term economic stability is likely tied to accessing Venezuelan gas for the petrochemical sector as well as LNG exports,” Tewarie said. “While much of the discussions have centered around the Dragon Gas field, because a number of factors make it potentially low-hanging fruit, we certainly want to be able to pick that metaphorical fruit and ask for your assistance to lobby for the policy framework that would allow this to happen. We must also remember that there are other cross-border fields that can be developed.”

The success of the deal could be linked to efforts aimed at combatting climate change. “Being able to tap and process the gas that Venezuela flares as part of its oil production could have a huge global impact on the reduction of emissions associated with its oil production and provide a source of gas that can be accessed in a relatively short time to assist the countries around the world with their energy transition.”

Tewarie said that he hoped that these issues could be considered favourably even as the United States discuss their own domestic energy along with the economic and social needs of Caribbean countries.

AMCHAM T&T would like to thank our partners at the U.S. Embassy, especially Ambassador Bond and Deputy Chief of Mission Shante Moore, for their continued support and for the opportunity to serve as host to the visiting U.S. Congressional Delegation at the cocktail reception.