In the second half of this year, Ecuador and the United States would begin negotiations for a trade agreement, as indicated yesterday by Pablo Campana, Minister of Commerce.
The official referred to a commercial agreement as a benefit for the entire export sector, after the renewal until 2020 of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP, in acronyms).
“A long-term agreement that gives us that stability in the long term and can be more competitive with Ecuadorian products,” he said.
A total of 122 countries benefit from these tariff preferences. In the Ecuadorian case, currently some 880 large, medium and small companies export 380 products under the GSP, among them mango, cut flowers, plywood, canned banana, taro, brown sugar, nuts and fruit juice.
The GSP has been renewed several times; the previous one ended in December 2017. Campana said that the extension is retroactive since January 1, which benefits US importers who paid the tariffs.
According to the official, there are sensitive points such as the customs control rate of $ 0.10 for each imported unit, the Free Trade Agreements or issues of milk or agriculture considered “red lines”, which will be dealt with in bilateral negotiations.
Daniel Legarda, president of the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor), believes that a trade agreement with the United States is a tool to promote exports.
The leader gives as an example the agreement with the European Union, in force since 2017, with which exports have increased $ 400 million (13%). Meanwhile, with the United States, they decreased 1%. Around 2.7 billion dollars is exported to that market.
Aspects such as intellectual property, investments and others would be analyzed in the dialogues that the Government aims to conclude before the GSP expires.
In 2004, Ecuador and the United States began negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). However, the negotiations ended two years later without reaching the signing of an agreement.While, in 2013 ended the validity of the Law of Andean Tariff Preferences or Atpdea. (I)