New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez recently introduced S.Res. 22 on January 28, 2021, in an effort to declare and strengthen the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Ecuador. Ecuador has had turbulent relationships with other countries but a stable and close one with the U.S. Both countries have promoted democracy and fought the illegal trade in narcotics together since they signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Navigation and Commerce in 1839. Positive relations with Ecuador mean improved economic relations, security and development opportunities in both countries.
What is S.Res.22?
S.Res.22 is a new agreement that updates the Trade and Investment Council Agreement. U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, and minister of foreign trade of Ecuador, Ivan Ontaneda, signed the document in Quito, Ecuador on Dec. 8, 2020. The document updates regulations against corruption in trade and reinforces regulations and processes at the border. It also gives protection to whistleblowers against other crimes like money laundering.
History of US-Ecuador Relations
Ecuador and the U.S. have a long history of good relations. Both have embassies in each other’s countries. The U.S. and Ecuador both work hard to preserve territorial integrity and share resources and harbors. U.S. and Ecuadorian law enforcement work together to address threats posed by transnational crime, narcotics and human trafficking. S.Res.22 references future imports in an effort to promise regulation upkeep with international trade. Both countries have similar goals in areas like democracy, inclusivity, health and education. These shared goals and collaborative efforts maintain positive relations with Ecuador.
Preventing Bribery and Corruption
One specific way that the U.S. and Ecuador plan to update and strengthen trade regulations, as outlined in the press release for the updated Trade and Investment Council, is through preventing corruption. The U.S. and Ecuador plan on drafting regulations to fight against bribery. Financial statements and all monetary records are to be kept current and checked. Both countries will also promote a culture of integrity where the government provides training for border patrol officers to develop honesty and transparency.
Updated Regulations on SMEs
S.Res.22 also aims to affect regulations surrounding small to medium enterprises (SMEs). The U.S. and Ecuador will rely heavily on incubators and accelerators to encourage the success of businesses at the start-up stage. SMEs play a large and significant role in the Ecuadorian economy in that they take up a large portion of the country’s GDP.
The U.S. benefits from a long-term, positive and mutually beneficial relationship with Ecuador. As countries, both have an interest in diplomacy, health and education, territorial integrity and sharing resources. These common goals have maintained positive relations with Ecuador. S.Res.22 seeks to further strengthen relations so that both countries may reap the benefits.
– Alyssa Ranola