Ecuador`s Minister of Production and Foreign Trade, Ivan Ontaneda, told The Associated Press that the first phase agreement had been reached in favour of micro-enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises and players in the popular and solidarity economy. 82% of companies related to non-oil exports to the United States correspond to this segment, he said. Today, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Ecuador`s Minister of Production, Trade, Investment and Fisheries, Ivén Ontaneda, signed a new protocol on trade rules and transparency. The protocol updates the U.S. and Ecuador`s Trade and Investment Council (ICT) agreement with four new annexes, which contain the most modern provisions for customs management and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, anti-corruption and small and medium-sized enterprises. Once implemented, the protocol will bring tangible benefits to traders and investors in all sectors. ICT provides a forum for discussion of a wide range of trade and investment issues. In addition to the implementation of this protocol, the United States and Ecuador will continue to work towards increased trade, including by encouraging reform of the Ecuadorian import certificate system. However, a number of other groups oppose a free trade agreement with the United States.
On 9 September 2004, a coalition of 51 workers, religions and environmental groups wrote to the USTR asking it to suspend negotiations. They argued that the negotiations had been conducted in secret, that there had been no reasonable dialogue with public opinion, and that the Andean negotiations had been modelled by the failure of trade agreements. (22) Signatories included the AFL-CIO, the American Friends Service Committee and the Public Citizen. The agreement is part of a broader move by the Trump administration to counterbalance China in the region, which has become the No.1 trading partner and critical source of capital for Latin America. 3. (return) Letter on the Inside U.S. Trade website, www.insidetrade.com/. On February 27, 2006, Colombia and the United States concluded their free trade agreement. On August 24, 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding was sent to Congress to conclude a free trade agreement. The USTR`s notification letter to Congress identified the economic reasons for the negotiations.
He said that a free trade agreement would help U.S. interests “… removing and removing barriers to trade and investment between Andean countries and the United States. The free trade agreement will also allow us to remove barriers to trade and investment in Andean countries… According to the USTR, the combined markets for the four Andean countries have a gross domestic product (purchasing power parity) of $463 billion and a total population of 93 million people. (6) The notification letter also stated that a free trade agreement would give new impetus to the broader negotiations for a free trade agreement. These negotiations are still stalled, in part because of the differences between the United States and Brazil.