The narrow passage of CAFTA-DR (P.L. 109-53) was seen as an indicator that any free trade agreement between the United States and the Andes could also face considerable opposition. The impact of the Bush administration`s decision to negotiate and present separate free trade agreements with Peru and Colombia remains uncertain. (43) Frank Samolis, Partner and Co-Chairman of the International Trade Group at Squire Patton Boggs: “It is important first to look at the current state of trade between the United States and Ecuador from a historical perspective. Ecuador received benefits under the Preferential Anti-Trade Law (ATPA), but was later declared ineligible, while two other beneficiaries, Peru and Colombia, negotiated free trade agreements with the United States. Then, during the Correa government, bilateral relations further diminished when Ecuador renounced the bilateral investment agreement and trade negotiations ended. In November 2018, talks resumed under the aegis of the Trade and Investment Council, after a nine-year hiatus. The announcement made by both countries on November 19, 2020 sent a very positive message. The Phase 1 agreement likely includes provisions on trade facilitation, good regulatory practices and provisions for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Among the most difficult issues ahead of us are Ecuador`s status under the Generalised System of Preferences, which expires at the end of the year, and the treatment of market access for agricultural products such as broccoli, artichoke, roses and tuna. However, the commitment of both countries to conduct productive trade negotiations after several years of hostility will lead to a successful conclusion. The new Biden administration is unlikely to sink these discussions and will view an agreement as a positive reinforcement of the broader geopolitical dimensions. It will probably put more emphasis on labour and environmental issues, but otherwise it will continue to support the discussions. One of the most important topics of the negotiations was the unresolved dispute over US investments in the Andean countries. On October 6, 2004, the House Committee on International Relations, Souscommittee on the Western Hemisphere, held a hearing on the U.S. investment conflicts in Peru and Ecuador. At the hearing, E. Anthony Wayne, Assistant Secretary of State for Economics and Business: “Almost every U.S.
company doing business in Ecuador has had problems with Ecuadorian authorities, from supervisory authorities to courts and customs.” He said the situation in Peru.” much better,” although there are still problems. He explained that both countries had been warned that “. . . These disputes are not resolved and are a stumbling blocks for the conclusion of a free trade agreement. A few months later, in October 2004, USTR Congressman Peter Allgeier warned that Peru and Ecuador could be removed from the free trade agreement if pending investor disputes were seen as a threat to Congressional approval of a free trade agreement with Colombia. (37) 15. . . .