The Andean Community of Nations (CAN) has temporarily suspended a resolution calling on Ecuador to lift its new import quality standards for the entry of certain imports, which were considered “unnecessarily restrictive” and harmed regional trade.
Minister of Foreign Trade, Francisco Rivadeneira, told a press conference that the CAN accepted Ecuador’s request for suspension of the complaint to give it more time to fully respond to questions about the import restrictions. The original CAN order only allowed the country 15 days for a response.
The quality standards imposed by Ecuador on 293 imported items represent a barriar to trade, several countries have claimed, including Ecuador’s neighbords Colombia and Peru.
When the quality standards were announced, the government admitted that they were a way to improve the country’s trade balance. Minister of Industry Ramiro Gonzalez said the new rules were intended keep $800 million a year in the country. President Rafael Correa also boasted of the savings.
Following complaints from neighboring countries and CAN, the government has changed its tune, saying the standards are intended to protect the health of Ecuadorians.
Although the government has relaxed the requirements on more than a 100 products, following complaints from business, many are still intact.
Ecuador puts up a fight but is eliminated from World Cup
Despite putting up a heroic fight, Ecuador was eliminated from World Cup play Wednesday in a 0 – 0 draw with France. Ecuador needed a victory or tie from Honduras in its game with Switzerland to advance but didn’t get it, as the Swiss won 3-0.
Ecuador put up a ferocious defense against the French, who have emerged as one of the favorites in the World Cup, despite playing the last 40 minutes of the game with only 10 players. The short-handedness was the result of the dismissal of Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia for allegedly injuring the shin of Frenchman Lucas Digne.
Although the referee considered Valencia’s action to be intentional, replays were inconclusive and Ecuador players as well as coach Reinaldo Rueda insisted the shinning was unavoidable.
Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez played brilliantly, deflecting or catching a dozen of French shots on goal. Ecuador had several opportunities to score but could not convert.
Photo caption: French and Ecuadian players go for header in Wednesday’s match.