On December 19, 2016, the National Assembly approved the Protocol for Ecuador's Accession to the Trade Agreement with the European Union with 97 yeas, 1 nay, 2 blank votes, and 2 abstentions.
The legislature discussed a report which stated that the agreement with the EU would benefit Ecuadorian trade by allowing the entry of agricultural and industrial products into the bloc with zero tariffs, which in turn translates into 2.700 million dollars.
Soledad Buendia, the president of the Commission for Economic Development (which was responsible for drafting the report for the discussion), reminded the plenary session that the tariff preferences for Ecuadorian products entering the EU would end in late December, which would put 400 subheadings at a disadvantage to sell in that market and would threaten 634 export-related jobs. This, she said, justifies the multiparty agreement between Ecuador and the European Union.
After the approval of the Assembly, the text will be sent to the Executive and President Correa must sign the ratification. Subsequently, the Foreign Ministry shall send the ratified document to the European Council which will publish the texts adopted so that the multiparty agreement can come into force starting January 1, 2017.
According to the Minister of Foreign Trade, Juan Carlos Cassinelli, this process will take place in the next 72 hours.