QUITO – On August 12, the United States and Ecuador marked the entry into force of the Protocol to the Trade and Investment Council Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador Relating to Trade Rules and Transparency (the “Protocol”). The Protocol was negotiated under the auspices of the 1990 United States – Ecuador Trade and Investment Council Agreement (TIC) and signed in Quito in December 2020. Assistant United States Trade Representative Daniel Watson and Vice Minister of Trade, Daniel Legarda, marked the occasion by reflecting on the progress leading up to the negotiations and noting the high standards achieved in the Protocol.
While in Quito, officials from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Ministry of Production, Trade, Investment, and Fisheries also held meetings on a range of trade and investment-related issues, including environment, labor, trade in agriculture products, and cooperation on the challenges faced by SMEs. They also agreed to identify cooperation mechanisms for the full implementation of the provisions of the Annex on Trade Facilitation, to benefit both parties.
In the area of agriculture, the parties agreed to maintain a constant dialogue in order to develop a road map to strengthen trade flows and contribute to the development of the new agricultural policy of Ecuador.
Additionally, they discussed the critical role high labor standards play in trade relations and exchanged information on their shared vision for a trade policy that is inclusive and worker-centered. They also discussed the importance of addressing the problem of forced labor. Likewise, they confirmed the importance to each of their economies of strong environmental protections, sustainable development, and action to address global climate change.
Finally, the two sides agreed to convene the fourth Trade and Investment Council meeting before the end of the year. In addition, the countries agreed to convene the first SME Dialogue under the Protocol in the near future, benefiting from the Ecuadorian diaspora in New Jersey.