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SFRC Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Risch, Colleagues Secure Passage of United States-Ecuador Partnership Act in Annual Defense Bill

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today were joined by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in issuing the below statements after their bipartisan United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022 was approved by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY23. The legislation expands the United States’ cooperation with Ecuador on issues of mutual interest, including strengthening democratic institutions, promoting inclusive economic growth, supporting environmental conservation initiatives, and increasing capabilities to address corruption, crime, and negative foreign influence.

“In the last five years, Ecuador has emerged as a model in Latin America and the Caribbean for its ongoing efforts to strengthen democratic governance and human rights. As Ecuador faces new security challenges, this legislation will expand bilateral cooperation to strengthen the rule of law, inclusive economic growth that benefits all of its citizens, and environmental protections,” Chairman Menendez said. “With the approval of our United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022, and with the help of the vibrant Ecuadorian-American community in New Jersey and across the country, we must continue writing a new chapter of friendship and partnership between the United States and Ecuador grounded in our shared values.”

“Ecuador has made significant strides in restoring market-friendly economic policies and its democratic institutions,” said Ranking Member Risch. “This bipartisan effort encourages bilateral cooperation to promote economic prosperity and regional stability through stronger commercial ties and greater transparency, respect for the rule of law, and resilience against state and non-state malign influences.”

“Ecuador is one of our most critical partners in the Western Hemisphere and a new member of the Alliance for Development in Democracy. This coalition of close partners share relationships grounded in a respect for democracy, economic cooperation, and strong people-to-people ties. I am pleased to see this legislation advance, which will be important to help ensure that the U.S. remains the partner of choice for Ecuador,” Senator Kaine said.

“With far-left and openly socialist governments dominant in our hemisphere, Ecuador remains one of the few beacons of a pro-American, democratic government. I welcome the passage of this important and bipartisan bill that will enhance our bilateral economic ties, as well as our security initiatives, with Ecuador,” Senator Rubio said.

“A strong bond with our partners in Ecuador advances economic cooperation, our shared conservation goals, and democratic values across the hemisphere,” said Senator Coons. “In particular, a bolstered US-Ecuador partnership will allow the US to better assist in protecting the Galapagos Marine Reserve and deter illegal fishing in protected waters that are crucial for ensuring biodiversity. I am glad to see these provisions included in the NDAA, and I’m grateful for the work of my SFRC colleagues in moving it forward.”

“Ecuador is an important ally that is attempting to right the ship of state after many years of misrule. We express our solidarity with this effort and look to help any way we can,” Senator Cassidy said.

“This October, I was pleased to have met with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso and members of his cabinet in Quito to discuss issues including security, conservation, and migration. Ecuador continues to be one of the United States’ most important allies in the Americas,” said Senator Cardin.  “I look forward to further strengthening the bilateral U.S.-Ecuador partnership, including through a new inter-agency strategy on democratic governance and inclusive economic growth.”

The United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022 builds upon the Senate’s April 2021 passage of Chairman Menendez’s resolution reaffirming U.S.-Ecuador ties. Among its key provisions, the legislation:

  • 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




Juan Pachon