Modern Trinidad and Tobago maintains close relations with its Caribbean neighbors and major North American and European trading partners. As the most industrialized and second-largest country in the English-speaking Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has taken a leading role in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and strongly supports CARICOM economic integration efforts. It also is active in the Summit of the Americas process and supports the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, lobbying other nations for seating the Secretariat in Port of Spain.
As a member of CARICOM, Trinidad and Tobago strongly backed efforts by the United States to bring political stability to Haiti, contributing personnel to the Multinational Force in 1994. After its 1962 independence, Trinidad and Tobago joined the United Nations and Commonwealth of Nations. In 1967, it became the first Commonwealth country to join the Organization of American States (OAS). In 1995, Trinidad played host to the inaugural meeting of the Association of Caribbean States and has become the seat of this 35-member grouping, which seeks to further economic progress and integration among its states.
In international forums, Trinidad and Tobago has defined itself as having an independent voting record, but often supports U.S. and EU positions.
Trinidad and Tobago has historically been a trans-shipment point for South American drugs destined for the United States and Europe. This has created much tension in the country's politics.
Trinidad and Tobago is also a member-state of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the U.S. military (as covered under Article 98)
There have been recent disputes between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados over access for Barbadian fishermen into Trinidadian territorial waters.
Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago enjoy a cordial and active relation. The establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries started in 1942 with the establishment of a Brazilian Vice-Consulate in Port-of-Spain, where later the Brazilian Embassy was open in 1965. Several mutual visits of Heads of State have occurred starting in 2008, when a MOU for cooperation on energy industry was signed.
Bilateral relations between the countries France and Trinidad and Tobago have existed for about two hundred years. Currently, France has an embassy in Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago is represented in France through its embassy in Brussels (Belgium). Trinidad and Tobago also has bilateral investment agreements with France.
see: Foreign relations of India#Trinidad and Tobago
Both nations formally established diplomatic relations in 1962. Republic of India operates a High Commission in Port of Spain, whilst Republic of Trinidad and Tobago operates a High Commission in New Delhi.
Both countries have signed diplomatic missions on June 6, 1974. Russia is represented in Trinidad and Tobago through a non-resident embassy in Georgetown (Guyana). Both countries have interests with each other since the Soviet Union. In August 1992, Trinidad recognized Russia as the USSR's successor. In 2004, Sergey Lavrov and Knowlson Gift signed the protocol on the political consultations between the two Ministries. In April 2005 the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago signed the cooperation agreement. In 2004, the Russian Cossack folk dance had nine concerts in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Couva, and Tobago
The establishment of diplomatic relations between the South Korea and Trinidad and Tobago started 23 July 1985.
The United States and Trinidad and Tobago enjoy cordial relations. U.S. interests there and throughout the hemisphere focus on increasing investment and trade, and ensuring more stable supplies of energy. They also include enhancing Trinidad and Tobago's political and social stability and positive regional role through assistance in drug interdiction, health issues, and legal affairs. The U.S. embassy was established in Port of Spain in 1962, replacing the former consulate general.
There is a long history of problems between Trinidadian fishermen and the Venezuelan National Guard. In addition, there is a serious potential for conflict with Venezuela over the exploitation of cross-border petroleum reserves.
Trinidad and Tobago has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations since becoming independent as a Commonwealth realm in 1962.
It has been a Commonwealth republic since 1976.