Ecuador–United States relations

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Ecuadorian–American relations
Map indicating locations of Ecuador and USA


United States

Ecuador and the United States maintained close ties based on mutual interests in maintaining democratic institutions; combating cannabis[1] and cocaine; building trade, investment, and financial ties; cooperating in fostering Ecuador's economic development; and participating in inter-American organizations. Ties are further strengthened by the presence of an estimated 150,000-200,000 Ecuadorians living in the United States and by 24,000 U.S. citizens visiting Ecuador annually, and by approximately 15,000 U.S. citizens residing in Ecuador. The United States assists Ecuador's economic development directly through the Agency for International Development (USAID) program in Ecuador and through multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. In addition, the U.S. Peace Corps operates a sizable program in Ecuador. More than 100 U.S. companies are doing business in Ecuador. Relations between the two nations have been strained following Julian Assange's bid to seek political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London following repeated claims that the US government was pursuing his extradition[2][3][4] due to his work with Wikileaks. [5] Ecuador offered political asylum to Julian Assange in November 2012.[6] This was then revoked in 2019, following negotiations between the Moreno administration and the British Government.


Both nations are signatories of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (the Rio Treaty) of 1947, the Western Hemisphere's regional mutual security treaty. Ecuador shares U.S. concern over increasing narcotrafficking and international terrorism and has energetically condemned terrorist actions, whether directed against government officials or private citizens. The government has maintained Ecuador virtually free of coca production since the mid-1980s and is working to combat money laundering and the transshipment of drugs and chemicals essential to the processing of cocaine.

Ecuador and the U.S. agreed in 1999 to a 10-year arrangement whereby U.S. military surveillance aircraft could use the airbase at Manta, Ecuador, as a Forward Operating Location to detect drug trafficking flights through the region. The arrangement expired in 2009; former president Rafael Correa vowed not to renew it, and since then the Ecuador has not had any foreign military facilities in the country.

In fisheries issues, the United States claims jurisdiction for the management of coastal fisheries up to 200 mile (370 km) from its coast, but excludes highly migratory species; Ecuador, on the other hand, claims a 200-mile (370-km) territorial sea, and imposes license fees and fines on foreign fishing vessels in the area, making no exceptions for catches of migratory species. In the early 1970s, Ecuador seized about 100 foreign-flag vessels (many of them U.S.) and collected fees and fines of more than $6 million. After a drop-off in such seizures for some years, several U.S. tuna boats were again detained and seized in 1980 and 1981.

The U.S. Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act then triggered an automatic prohibition of U.S. imports of tuna products from Ecuador. The prohibition was lifted in 1983, and although fundamental differences between U.S. and Ecuadorian legislation still exist, there is no current conflict. During the period that has elapsed since seizures which triggered the tuna import ban, successive Ecuadorian governments have declared their willingness to explore possible solutions to this problem with mutual respect for longstanding positions and principles of both sides. The election of Rafael Correa in October 2006, has strained relations between the two countries and relations have since been fraught with tension. Rafael Correa is quite critical of U.S. foreign policy.

Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 20 July 2019

In April 2011, relations between Ecuador and the United States soured particularly after Ecuador expelled the U.S. ambassador after a leaked diplomatic cable was shown accusing president Correa of knowingly ignoring police corruption. In reciprocation, the Ecuadorian ambassador Luis Gallegos was expelled from the United States.[7]

In 2013, when Ecuador unilaterally pulled out of a preferential trade pact with the United States over claiming the U.S. used it as blackmail in regards to the asylum request of Edward Snowden, relations between Ecuador and the United States reached an all-time low. The pact offered Ecuador 23 million USD, which it offered to the U.S. for human rights training.[8] Tariff free imports had been offered to Ecuador in exchange for drug elimination efforts.[9]

Julian Assange applied for Ecuadorian citizenship on 16 September 2017, which Ecuador granted on 12 December 2017.[10] However, this development was not announced until 25 January 2018.[10]

In April 2019, Assange was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on orders from the Embassy Staff. President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, stated that he had 'violated the terms of his asylum'. British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt stated that the British and Ecuadorian governments had been co-operating since Moreno's inauguration and aimed to resolve the situation. Assange is currently pending trial for extradition to the United States.


American schools in Ecuador:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ecuador
  2. ^ Nakashima, Ellen; Markon, Jerry (2010-11-30). "WikiLeaks founder could be charged under Espionage Act". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  3. ^ Pilkington, Ed (2011-05-11). "WikiLeaks: US opens grand jury hearing | Media". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  4. ^ Feinstein, Dianne (2010-12-07). "Dianne Feinstein: Prosecute Assange Under the Espionage Act -". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  5. ^ Dominiczak, Peter (2012-06-21). "WikiLeaks: Julian Assange wants to carry on 'mission' says Ecuador leader - UK - News - Evening Standard". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  6. ^ Uribarri, Jaime (2010-11-30). "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange offered asylum in Ecuador; calls for Hillary Clinton's resignation - New York Daily News". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  7. ^ "US Expels Ecuadorian Envoy in WikiLeaks Affair". Voice of America. April 6, 2011. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  8. ^ "Ecuador decries US 'blackmail' over Snowden | News | al Jazeera".
  9. ^ "Edward Snowden, broccoli and roses."
  10. ^ a b Ayala, Maggy; Erlanger, Steven (2018). "Ecuador Gives Assange Citizenship, Worsening Standoff With Britain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-25.

External links[edit]