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Risch, Menendez, Kaine and Rubio Unveil New Legislation to Bolster U.S.-Ecuador Relationship

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were joined by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, today in introducing the United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022. The bipartisan legislation strengthens the United States’ cooperation with Ecuador on issues of mutual interest, including strengthening democratic institutions, promoting inclusive economic growth, supporting environmental conservation initiative, and expanding capabilities to address corruption, crime, and negative foreign influence.

“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.”

“I am very proud to be joined by my colleagues in introducing this important legislation to lay out a long-term vision for strengthening the U.S.-Ecuador relationship, as well as delineate how we can best support Ecuador in addressing current challenges,” said Chairman Menendez. “This commonsense legislation is further proof of the bipartisan consensus recognizing Ecuador’s rightful status as a key democratic partner whose economic growth, democratic resilience, and ability to address security challenges and malign foreign influence are vital for U.S. national interests. With the help of the vibrant Ecuadorian-American community in New Jersey and across the United States, I look forward to securing passage of this legislation and writing a new chapter of friendship and partnership between our two nations.” 

“Last July, I led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ecuador to underscore the United States’ commitment to our bilateral relationship, and to address issues impacting both of our nations,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m excited that this bipartisan legislation will continue to strengthen our partnership by expanding economic opportunity and promoting good governance in Ecuador.”

“At a time when countries in our region are making a radical shift towards anti-American governments, it’s essential we double down in our efforts to support pro-American allies in our hemisphere. Ecuador is a strong, democratic partner and through this effort, we are confirming our bipartisan and unwavering support to our bilateral relationship,” said Senator Rubio.

Building upon the U.S. Senate’s April 2021 passage of Risch and Menendez’s bipartisan resolution reaffirming 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;
  • Reinforces Ecuador’s efforts to combat illicit economies, including corruption, human trafficking, and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing;
  • Strengthens bilateral security cooperation on cyber, law enforcement, and penitentiary issues, as well as the challenges posed by the malicious activities of foreign states; and
  • Supports Ecuador’s leadership on environmental conservation and stewardship.

Text of the United States-Ecuador Partnership Act of 2022 can be found here.

A section-by-section of the bill can be found here.