Expanding export opportunities and encouraging the attraction of investments are the objectives of the meeting of the Council of Trade and Investment for Ecuador and the United States. It will be held next November 14 and 15 in the second nation.
This Council is the main forum for dialogue between both countries, which reviews the main issues of the bilateral relationship in trade, investment and cooperation.
The reactivation TIC of is a consequence of the visit made to Ecuador by the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, last June.
For the Minister of Foreign Trade, Pablo Campana, the United States was focused on trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico, and once that was over he sought to reactivate TIC to address certain sensitive issues, promote new investments and put together a schedule of what could be the strengthening of relationships through a commercial agreement. One issue that would also be addressed is the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with that country that was denounced (rendered null and void) in 2017.
In a television interview he was asked what kind of agreement would be negotiated; He said that initially they would refer to products such as broccoli, artichoke, tuna in sheath and flowers, which were left out of systems that grant tariff preferences for their entry into the United States.
“A commercial agreement is very important for the future development of exports and trade in the country,” he said.
Last week, a delegation from the United States Trade Office visited the country and held a meeting with the business sector.
Patricio Alarcón, president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE), said they expressed interest in signing a bilateral agreement because there is potential to increase exports to the US. He gave as an example that broccoli is competitive despite the tariff of 14 %.
About TIC, Alarcón hopes that it will be the beginning of the talks, although he estimated that it would take three years for this to happen because he mentioned that it will depend on the solution of what he called “irritants” that could stop investment and trade.
These issues refer to intellectual property, foreign exchange tax, acceptance of arbitration proceedings, the Chevron case and others.
A delegation made up of guilds of exporters, merchants, industrialists and fishermen will travel to the United States at the same time in order to create in parallel a Private Business Council with its North American counterparts to support a bilateral agreement.
According to the Chamber of Commerce of Quito (CCQ), the United States is Ecuador’s main trading partner with a 31.5% share of the total exported by the country in 2017. Shrimp, bananas, flowers are the main products not oil tankers sold. Meanwhile, the main imported non-oil products are raw materials, capital goods and consumer goods.
“We have lost eleven years to reach a strengthening of relations, but now we are ready to enter with the United States, Japan, South Korea and the Pacific Alliance.”Pablo Campana