April 25, 2022

Menendez Hosts Community Forum with NJ’s Ecuadorian Diaspora to Discuss Future of U.S.-Ecuador Partnership

JERSEY CITY, N.J.U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today convened a community forum with the Ecuadorian-American diaspora of New Jersey and students from Saint Peter’s University to discuss his efforts to strengthen the flourishing relationship between the United States and Ecuador.

Joined by Ecuador’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ivonne Baki, Chairman Menendez recognized Ecuador’s status as a key democratic partner for the U.S. and detailed his United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022, the first legislation presented in the U.S. Congress to focus exclusively on U.S.-Ecuador relations. Following remarks, Chairman Menendez and Ambassador Baki took questions from community leaders and St. Peter’s faculty members in attendance.

US Ecuador Partnership St Peters 1

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“After a devastating pandemic, and in light of growing security and environmental threats, the people of Ecuador today face varied, pressing challenges,” Chairman Menendez said, describing how his legislation strengthens U.S.-Ecuador cooperation to foster inclusive economic development, address shared security challenges, and to support environmental conservation. “If passed, my bill will be a great step forward in our relationship with Ecuador. It will be a great step forward in advancing the democratic principles and values our nations share. And it would be a great step forward for Ecuadorians and Americans everywhere.”

Chairman Menendez also applauded Ecuadorian-American diaspora of New Jersey’s efforts to keep the proud Ecuadorian heritage and culture alive and to assist, inform, and empower community members to confront shared challenges.

“Your efforts here in New Jersey not only strengthen the Ecuadorian diaspora community, but also the bond between the United States of America and the country of Ecuador,” Chairman Menendez added. “To those of you living here in New Jersey, we must keep pressing forward. To those confronting challenges almost three thousand miles away in Ecuador, know that you have our support. And to everyone who cares about the bond between our two countries, speak up. Because if we work together and stand up for our democratic principles, our partnership in the coming decades will be prosperous and full of potential.”

Earlier this year, Chairman Menendez joined Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso in a virtual press conference held in celebration of this legislative effort. Building upon the Senate’s April 2021 passage of the senator’s bipartisan resolution reaffirming the U.S.-Ecuador ties and recognizing the growth of economic relations, security cooperation, and development opportunities between both nations, the United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022:

  • Requires a strategy to expand economic and commercial ties between the U.S. and Ecuador, and facilitate conditions for inclusive economic growth, including for Afro-Ecuadorian and Indigenous communities
  • Supports Ecuador’s leadership on environmental conservation and stewardship
  • Reinforces Ecuador’s efforts to combat illicit economies, including corruption, human trafficking, and illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing
  • Authorizes the transfer of two excess Coast Guard cutters to the Government of Ecuador
  • Strengthens bilateral security cooperation on cyber, law enforcement, and penitentiary issues, as well as the challenges posed by the malicious activities of foreign states

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Press Contact

Juan Pachon