A delegation made up of representatives of the Ecuadorian private productive sector is in Washington to give continuity to the trade agenda with that country with a view to negotiating a trade agreement.
This was reported by the president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE), Felipe Ribadeneira, who is heading the delegation. Ribadeneira stated on Twitter that they had met with the Ecuadorian ambassador to the United States, Ivonne Baki, and with delegates from the US Chamber of Commerce, including Anne Mckinney, the US Chamber of Commerce's Vice President for the Americas.
Ribadeneira said that their agenda in Washington focused on promoting the second phase of the trade agreement between Ecuador and the United States - after both nations reached a First Phase Agreement in December 2020 and Ecuador's National Assembly ratified its protocols on May 5 -, which he classified as a fundamental instrument to increase exports, investments, and create jobs.
This meeting in the United States took place two days after the Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment, and Fisheries, Julio Jose Prado, stated that they were taking steps to start negotiations with the US to achieve a free trade agreement. Prado also participated in the meeting between the Ecuadorian and American businessmen, but online.
According to data from the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor), the United States is the main destination for Ecuador's non-oil exports with a 24% share. The main products that reach that destination include bananas or flowers.
It should be noted that Ecuadorian non-oil exports to the North American country grew by 10% in the first quarter of 2021.
"The negotiation of trade agreements, at this time, is not a priority for the US Government, so we need to get a political declaration from the highest level of the US government. That's what we need to obtain to enter the technical part now,” stated Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo.
The Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments, and Fisheries stated that the Ecuadorian delegation's visit would last until June 17 and includes meetings with various entities; such as the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR); the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS).