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08STATE69093 2008-06-26 23:31:00 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
Cable title:  

THE DEPUTY SECRETARY'S JUNE 23 MEETING WITH

Tags:   PREL SNAR ECON ETRD ENRG KCRM XL TD 
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O 262331Z JUN 08
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TO AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN IMMEDIATE 
INFO AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN IMMEDIATE 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 069093 


BRIDGETOWN ALSO PASS TO GRENADA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2018
TAGS: PREL SNAR ECON ETRD ENRG KCRM XL TD
SUBJECT: THE DEPUTY SECRETARY'S JUNE 23 MEETING WITH
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO PRIME MINISTER PATRICK MANNING

CLASSIFIED BY WHA ASSISTANT SECRETARY THOMAS A. SHANNON
FOR E.O. 12958, REASONS 1.4 (b) AND (d).



1. (U) June 23, 2008, 11:15 a.m., Washington, D.C.



2. (U) Participants:

UNITED STATES
Deputy Secretary Negroponte
WHA Assistant Secretary Thomas A. Shannon
WHA/CAR Velia De Pirro (Notetaker)

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Prime Minister Patrick Manning
Ambassador from Trinidad & Tobago Glenda Morean-Phillip
Deputy Chief of Mission Paul Byam
Political Counselor Nieves Callender

SUMMARY


--------------------------





3. (C) Prime Minister Manning focused the discussion on
Trinidad and Tobago's efforts to push for a collective
CARICOM solution to rising crime and drug trafficking in
the Caribbean. He highlighted Trinidad and Tobago's
acquisition of intercept vessels and radars, and its
plans to refurbish surveillance planes. Manning
indicated his hope for U.S. support, pointing to the
lack of a permanent U.S. military presence in the
Caribbean, the need for radars on all Eastern Caribbean
islands, the refurbishment of two planes in Barbados,
and the need for a fifth plane to ensure complete air
surveillance of the Eastern Caribbean. He mentioned his
wish to expand the Advance Passenger Information System
to all of the Caribbean, perhaps working through the
Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Manning
requested duty free entry to the United States for iron,
steel, aluminum products, plastics, and all products
packaged in Trinidad and Tobago. He claimed that while
Trinidad and Tobago was a good partner to the United
States, as evidenced by its role as principal supplier
of liquefied gas, methane, and ammonia, this partnership
was not recognized in the U.S. The Deputy Secretary
commended Trinidad and Tobago's leadership on security
issues in the Caribbean and noted our interest in
remaining engaged. End Summary.


Security in the Caribbean


--------------------------





4. (C) Prime Minister Patrick Manning spoke at some
length about security concerns shared by the governments
of the Eastern Caribbean states. He highlighted the
June 13-14 military conference hosted by Trinidad and
Tobago to bring Caribbean Community (CARICOM) members
together to address growing crime and drug trafficking
through the region, particularly the Eastern Caribbean.
Manning stressed the need for CARICOM members to pool
resources and work together to counter the increasing
law enforcement challenges. He noted Trinidad and
Tobago's proximity to Venezuela and the risks posed to
the island nation from increased drug trafficking
through Venezuela. Manning hopes the existing Advance
Passenger Information System (APIS), established with
U.S. assistance for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, can be
expanded to include all Caribbean nations possibly
working through the Association of Caribbean States,
whose membership is made up of all states bordering the
Caribbean, including Cuba and Venezuela. Manning said
it was imperative for all Caribbean states to be able to
share passenger information for both arriving planes and
vessels.



5. (C) Although Manning did not present a shopping list
of desired hardware, his meaning was evident as he
pointed to the permanent presence of Dutch and British
frigates in the Caribbean as well as the stationing of a
French frigate during hurricane season, contrasting them
with the absence of a permanent U.S. military presence
in the Eastern Caribbean. Manning went on to enumerate
the recent or planned acquisitions by Trinidad and
Tobago of six intercept vessels, four helicopters, and
radars for Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, and St.
Vincent and the Grenadines. He stressed that radars
were needed for the rest of the islands in the Eastern
Caribbean. Manning mentioned that Trinidad and Tobago
was refurbishing two planes with radars/infrared and
that Barbados had two planes that also needed
refurbishing. He did not, however, reiterate Trinidad
and Tobago's previous request that the United States
fund the refurbishing of Barbados' planes. (Note: The
four planes are C-26s provided by the United States to
the two nations a number of years ago.) Manning told
the Deputy Secretary that once fully operational the
four planes could provide adequate air surveillance for
the Eastern Caribbean region, but that a fifth plane was
necessary to assure complete coverage.



6. (C) The Deputy Secretary welcomed Trinidad and
Tobago's engagement on security issues, noting that
narcotics trafficking has been a problem in the region
for many years. He added that the balloon effect from
the Merida Initiative would be felt in the Caribbean.
The Deputy Secretary highlighted the efforts of the U.S.
Coast Guard as well as those of the Joint Inter-Agency
Task Force - South (JIATF-S) to counter trafficking in
the Caribbean. He encouraged PM Manning to visit JIATF-
S if the opportunity presented itself. The Deputy
Secretary informed the Prime Minister that expansion of
APIS would have to be coordinated with the Department of
Homeland Security.

Deportees


--------------------------





7. (C) Prime Minister Manning touched briefly on the
issue of criminal deportees from the United States to
Trinidad and Tobago, blaming them in part for the rising
crime rate. A/S Shannon noted that non-U.S. citizens
would continue to be subject to deportation if they
committed crimes. He mentioned that as a result of the
discussions during the June 2007 U.S.-CARICOM Summit and
Conference, the United States had initiated pilot
programs in three countries to help with the
reintegration of criminal deportees.

Trade: The Second Agenda


--------------------------





8. (C) Describing it as his second agenda, Prime
Minister Manning raised the question of trade and trade
preferences. Manning asked for duty free entry to the
United States for iron, steel, steel products, plastics,
and all products packaged in Trinidad and Tobago,
arguing that the amount of these imports was too small
to affect U.S. markets. He explained that investment in
these sectors in Trinidad and Tobago could grow, helping
the economy, if the products had duty free entry into
the United States. Manning complained that as the
supplier of 70 percent on liquefied natural gas, 75
percent of methane, and 75 percent of ammonia for the
United States, Trinidad and Tobago had proved itself a
good partner for the United States, but it did not get
anything in return from the United States. He added
that Trinidad and Tobago could get higher prices and
more immediate returns for its exports if it sold them
to Mexico or Brazil.

RICE