Description of Section and Activities
The Political/Economic Section’s principal mission is to advance U.S. policies and interests throughout the Eastern Caribbean in order to strengthen the region’s democratic institutions and market economies, encourage bilateral and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking, and build partnerships to meet other key challenges facing the region and the Western Hemisphere.
To achieve these goals, the Section’s daily and longer-term responsibilities include:
Advising the Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission on key political, economic, commercial, labor, and environmental developments in the Eastern Caribbean;
Representing the U.S. government and promoting U.S. policy objectives with local governments, regional and international organizations, businesses, civil society, and media;
Monitoring and reporting to relevant U.S. agencies on the full range of priority issues for the U.S. government;
Coordinating the Embassy’s submission of required reports, including those on human rights, religious freedom, terrorism, the Caribbean Basin Trade Preference Act, and the Mission Strategic Plan;
Advocating for U.S. economic and commercial interests, in collaboration with other U.S. agencies, including the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), Department of Agriculture, Treasury Department, and Federal Aviation Administration; and
Organizing official visits, including those of senior U.S. officials, Members of Congress, and their staffs.
Mission Strategic Goals
The Political/Economic Section’s broad regional and substantive portfolio provides many opportunities to cooperate with governments in the region to advance U.S. interests in a prosperous and secure region. Democratic and market economic institutions are well-established in the Eastern Caribbean, but both face challenges that form the core of our diplomatic agenda with countries of the region:
Combating International Crime and Drugs: By assisting the region’s governments to improve their law enforcement capabilities through judicial and legislative reform as well as through an array of training programs, we are working to build a stronger foundation for our cooperation with the Eastern Caribbean to protect America’s “Third Border” against transnational crime, including drug and arms trafficking, money laundering, and other financial crimes.
Bolstering Counterterrorism Efforts: The region’s governments have been active partners in the war on terror, but there are gaps in their capacities to secure and monitor their borders and to disrupt and deter terrorist financing networks. We are supporting their efforts to narrow and close those gaps through reforms of their law enforcement and financial oversight systems.
Strengthening Democratic Institutions and Promoting Economic Prosperity: We are seeking to strengthen the region’s democratic systems by developing their abilities to counter challenges, such as corruption, that undermine the governments’ legitimacy, slow economic development, and stymie security and law enforcement efforts. We are also supporting economic reforms that promote free trade, open and transparent investment regimes, and economic integration. We are expanding trade and commercial ties between the United States and the Eastern Caribbean by encouraging business exchanges and promoting greater access for U.S. firms to local markets and investment opportunities.
Advancing U.S. Public Diplomacy Interests and Goals: Working closely with our public diplomacy section, we are seeking to maximize outreach and educational opportunities in order to highlight U.S. engagement with and long-range commitment to the region.
- Chief of Pol/Econ Section
- Deputy Chief of Pol/Econ Section
- (Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis)
- (Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
- (St. Lucia, Dominica)
- Political Advisor
- Office Management Specialist
Description of Activities
Since the closure of the FCS office in fall of 2007, the Pol/Econ section has assumed the commercial outreach portfolio for the Mission. The Pol/Econ office works closely with the Foreign Commercial Service Office in Santo Domingo and the Foreign Agricultural Trade office in Miami as well as with the Commercial and Business Affairs Office in the Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Bureau in Washington on joint trade promotion activities, in addition to reporting, advocacy and other activities, and advising on significant developments affecting U.S. commercial interests. FCS Santo Domingo manages commercial diplomacy for the entire Caribbean.
In conjunction with the Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission, the Pol/Econ Section supports U.S. business interests in major projects and procurements, and traditionally works with FCS to provide U.S. businesses market intelligence (through publications such as International Market Insight, Industry Sector Analysis, and Country Commercial Guide reports), trade leads, business counseling, commercial advocacy, contact and trade event services such as Gold Key Service programs, trade missions and exhibitions. The section also helps U.S. exporters and investors resolve trade and investment disputes. All promotion activities are closely coordinated with the Commercial Service’s network of offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The section has also made a concerted effort to re-energize ties to the U.S. business communities on all the islands.
Help U.S. firms participate more fully in private and public sector projects, and look for opportunities to increase two-way trade and investment with the Eastern Caribbean
Coordinate trade missions that showcase U.S. products, services and technologies
Revitalize contacts with U.S.-affiliated companies throughout the region and, where appropriate, encourage the formation of American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams)