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Ecuador News

Ecuador – U.S. trade agreement faces obstacles but ambassador says progress is being made

Although Ecuador is eager to negotiate a trade agreement with the U.S., several obstacles stand in the way, according to U.S. ambassador to Ecuador Todd Chapman.

U.S. ambassador to Ecuador Todd Chapman (El Comercio)

Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Trade announced in January that it is pursuing an agreement with the U.S. similar to the one signed two years ago with the European Union (EU). The EU agreement covers a large number of products agreed to by both parties, but is not a comprehensive free trade deal, the ministry says.

“The U.S. government is open to a bilateral agreement with Ecuador and we have hopes that one can be worked out,” Chapman says. “The relationship between our two countries has improved over the last year and we are actively working on several trade problem areas.”

Among the obstacles, according to Chapman, are duties that Ecuador applies to a long list of imports. “The U.S. opposes any trade barrier that impedes a healthy trading relationship,” he says. Although many import duties and fees have been reduced or eliminated since 2016, Ecuador imposed a program of new ones at the beginning of 2018.

Among other issues to be resolved, according to Chapman, are the handling of lawsuits involving U.S. companies, and the protection of intellectual property rights for software, music and movies. “I was in Manta over the weekend and visited a store where I could buy pirated copies of movies and music for a dollar,” he said. “This is serious problem throughout Latin America that has to be resolved.”

On the issue of fighting drug trafficking near Ecuador’s border with Colombia, Chapman said the U.S. is actively supporting Ecuador’s law enforcement and military efforts. “This week, we are providing police training in Guayaquil and are actively working with Ecuador’s military command to provide intelligence information and other assistance,” he said.

“We understand this is a serious concern due drug activity in Colombia and we have a strong interest in keeping it out of Ecuador,” he added.

19 thoughts on “Ecuador – U.S. trade agreement faces obstacles but ambassador says progress is being made

  1. “I was in Manta over the weekend and visited a store where I could buy
    pirated copies of movies and music for a dollar,” he said. “This is
    serious problem throughout Latin America that has to be resolved.”

    Here we go again with the Worlds Police. Tell Chapman to take a hike.

    1. How does enforcing intellectual property rights make anyone the World’s Police? Or do you condone theft because they’re not stealing from you?

      Funny also that your post is upvoted by whining Ricki, who wants everything at a discount or free.

        1. Thank you for the link. While unfamiliar with the specific case, I’m well acquainted with the underlying concept and the law. However, if you are trying to make a point, I don’t see what it is. The case affirms the law that I obliquely reference in my previous post. In other words, the ruling in the case supports my view of intellectual property rights.

          By the way, which Jane are you? The disingenuous Jane that is really Sandra, who posts personal attacks, or the sincere Jane that has protested being confused with the disingenuous Jane?

          1. Intellectual property rights aren’t limited to the store on the corner selling pirated DVD’s.

            Anyone with KODI is viewing stolen content. A gringo bookstore in Cuenca used a local printer to print pirated books. I could continue…

            1. Did you know there is a service that uses Kodi but pays for content from original sources? It costs about $87 a year and is more dependable than the common Kodi sources. I have it and bought it through Danny Astudillo.

    2. Fair trade is when two parties agree not to fuck each other. Theft of intellectual property is a form of fucking. Ironically, Ecuador has strict laws protecting the intellectual property of Ecuadorian film makers and music recordings. And frankly, Ecuador gets a huge pass with the GSP which allows it to export many products duty free to the U.S. while simultaneously slapping prohibitively high duties on U.S, imports. If it wasn’t for Ecuador’s relative insignificance in scale, the GSP would likely be reconsidered.

        1. Wow, Jason, you’ve really really outdone yourself. Did the sun rise today? Show your evidence! Does Jason Faulkner exist? Where’s the proof? If he does exist, is he capable of lucid, independent thought (me thinks not)?

          1. That’s an awful lot of words to cop out. It would have been so much easier to just admit there’s no evidence . . . or just not reply at all.

  2. I am responding to the “Intellectual Property Rights for software, music and movies”. When someone makes $20 to $25.00 per DAY (not per hour) then they can NOT afford to buy movies for 24.99 like the US pays and therefore would not have access to any movies. So when the movies are $1.00 they can at least afford it. Give these people a break and let them have some entertainment. I imagine there would be a revolt on the hands of anyone that raises the prices to the point where it is not affordable. Besides do you really think anyone in the world gives a damm about making some Dude rich that owns the Intellectual Property Rights. Seriously you folks that feel that one should pay more for these products…do you really feel it is important to make these rich people any richer. I think people like Bill Gates have enough money. If there is an increase in movies from $1.00 to $24.99 the people that get f___ked are the people that make $24.00 per day.

    1. Of course they can’t afford U.S, prices, but theft is theft and if they want to do business with the same people they are robbing, they need to at least pretend to enforce international property rights. In this case, they could agree to collect a royalty as a percentage of the market price. For example a $2.00 disk of a recent movie or record album could pay a royalty of 10 or 15% to its owner. Now, having said all of that, you and I know that pledging to enforce intellectual property laws and stopping intellectual property theft are two seperate issues. A pledge would go a long ways to getting a better trade deal that would benefit the country’s exporters.

      1. When something is stolen, the owner loses something. This attempt to equate copyright infringement with theft is just one more reason why nobody takes you seriously. Words have meaning. When your argument depends on inventing new definitions for well established legal concepts, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

  3. “We understand this is a serious concern due drug activity in Colombia and we have a strong interest in keeping it out of Ecuador,”

    Yet despite all the US military presence in Colombia, Colombia is still the root of the problem. They can’t even keep drugs out of US prisons, yet we’re supposed to believe they’re going to eradicate them from a continent? I can’t decide whether this while conversation is Orwellian or just silly. I am, however, convinced that it is meaningless.

    1. Maybe the one thing we agree, partially. Colombia is not the root of the problem, it is a symptom of it. The root is demand, from U.S. principally.

      The solution is the decriminalization of all so-called illicit drugs, in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Drug production would then become as normal as agricultural production and benefit farmers, consumers and societies strapped with the burden of law enforcement and encarceration costs. Surplus revenues and taxes can be channeled to quality control, health education (don’t take too much coke, kiddies) and treatment.

      Even Faulkner could get help with his dilusional disorder.

      1. No argument here. The War on Drugs ™ has been a colossal failure. You’d think they would have learned the lesson from prohibition. You can’t solve public health problems with military tactics.

  4. Intellectual Property Rights for software, music and movies. So if someone who plays in a band and plays a song that is not theirs does that mean that they are stealing the song.

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