Ecuador will continue to enjoy trade preferences with the United States, according to Minister of Foreign Trade Pablo Campana. The preferences, which allow duty free imports worth about $400 million annually to Ecuadorian businesses, are granted to 122 countries that do not have free trade agreements with the U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday extending the Generalized System of Preferences (SGP) which would have otherwise expired on December 31.
Without the preferences, the price of about 200 Ecuadorian imports to the U.S. would have increased by 10% to 20%.
Campana said that he met several times with Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in recent to work out details of the extension of preferences.
In a press conference, Campana also announced new trade agreements with Russia, Colombia and Brazil covering Ecuadorian shrimp, rice and banana exports. “We have just concluded visits to 13 countries, including the U.S., and we made great progress in maintaining and opening new markets for our products,” he said. “In 2018, we will continue our efforts to strengthen trade relations with other countries.”