Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations*

By Beittel, June S. | Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America, April 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations*


Beittel, June S., Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America


The United States has traditionally had close relations with Ecuador, yet tensions in the U.S.-Ecuador relationship have surfaced in recent years as the left leaning government of President Rafael Correa (2007-present) has objected to U.S. influence in the region which it has labeled "imperialist." Nevertheless, the United States is Ecuador's largest trade partner and has extended trade preferences to Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) since the legislation's enactment in 1991. The ATPA provides unilateral preferential access to the U.S. market for certain products in order to reduce dependence on the illegal drug trade, although the Correa government in late June 2013 "renounced" its participation in the program. For additional information on the consideration of trade preferences for Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act by the 113th Congress, see CRS Report RS22548, ATPA Renewal: Background and Issues, by M. Angeles Villarreal.

This report provides a brief background on political and economic conditions in Ecuador under President Correa, and examines current U.S. relations with Ecuador. It provides context for recent developments such as the asylum request reportedly made to Ecuador by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden who is wanted on espionage charges in the United States for release of top secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs. For more information about Ecuador's extradition policies and legal analysis, see CRS Legal Sidebar WSLG561, U.S. May Face Significant Obstacles in Attempt to Apprehend Edward Snowden, by Michael John Garcia.

BACKGROUND

Ecuador is a small oil-producing country with about 14.6 million people situated along the Pacific Coast of South America. Located between Colombia and Peru, two major cocaine producing countries in the Andean region, Ecuador is strategically important to the United States. Not only is it a major transshipment point for U.S.-bound illegal drugs, but Colombian armed groups seeking to rest, resupply, and transport drugs, and thousands of refugees fleeing Colombia's internal conflict, have crossed its porous northern border. Moreover, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Ecuador was the 11th largest supplier of crude oil imports to the United States in 2012 and an important supplier of crude to the Western United States.1

Rafael Correa, elected President three times by voters in Ecuador, has proved to be one of the nation's most enduring leaders. While the United States has traditionally had close relations with Ecuador, under Correa's leadership the relationship has often been tense due to his populist governing style and his combative, self-described -anti-imperialist" stance. Friction between the two countries culminated in the expulsion of the U.S. Ambassador in 2011. Although full diplomatic relations were restored in 2012 with the appointment of a new U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, tensions between the countries continue. The Correa government in recent months has tried to bolster economic ties and, up until late June 2013, advocated for renewal of trade preferences which are set to expire July 31, 2013.

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

Correa Administration

Ecuador has a relatively long experience with democracy, but it has been marked by frequent cycles of instability. Since its independence in 1830, regionalism and personalism have defined Ecuador's political culture. Following a return to democracy in 1979 after nine years of military rule, party splits, bureaucratic ineptitude, and corruption proliferated. Voters have periodically blamed incumbent governments for their problems, and often have turned to populist, anti-traditional party candidates to govern.

Ecuador ended a decade of political and economic instability with the election of Rafael Correa, a left-leaning U.S.-trained economist, in late 2006. Fulfilling a key campaign promise, Correa succeeded in rallying the nation to support a referendum to rewrite the constitution. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations*
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.