The U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) said Tuesday it's urging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to deny Ecuador access to benefits of the Andean Trade Preference Act.
“With Peru and Colombia now moving up to full Free Trade Agreement partner status, Ecuador is the sole potential recipient of ATPA preferences going forward,” USCIB said in a statement. “Yet, in recent years, the government of Ecuador has flaunted international and ATPA standards in key areas of rule-of-law and respect for arbitral awards.”
The USTR sent a report to Congress last week updating the status of the Andean trade pact.
“We appreciate that USTR has pointed out at some length these failings of the government of Ecuador in their annual report to Congress last Friday,” USCIB said. “But we are disappointed that USTR has, nonetheless, opted to maintain Ecuador’s access to ATPA preference benefits. We urge that the administration and the Congress reconsider this decision. It is inappropriate to reward the government of Ecuador for its behavior in these key areas with preferential access to our market.”
USCIB noted that it strongly supports the U.S. government’s network of trade preference programs that provide qualifying developing countries duty-free access into the U.S. market, but said the programs should be conditioned, not an entitlement.