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STATEMENT FROM AMBASSADOR NATHALIE CELY REGARDING THE USTR’S SIXTH REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON THE OPERATION OF THE ANDEAN TRADE PREFERENCE ACT

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

The Embassy of Ecuador to the United States is pleased that the USTR found that the ATPA/ATPDEA continues to provide important strategic benefits for the wellbeing of the people of Ecuador and the United States. In addition, we are pleased that once again, consistent with identical findings in all prior reports by USTR since the APTA/ATPDEA program began in 1991, Ecuador was found to meet all the statutory eligibility requirements to remain a beneficiary country. Thanks to the ATPDEA and the healthy collaboration between our two countries, the region is becoming a more secure and prosperous place for all our people. As the report shows, economic opportunities for both countries have increased greatly because of the ATPDEA- helping grow jobs in Ecuador and the U.S. There also remains strong bilateral cooperation to reduce the trafficking of illicit drugs.

Due to the ATPDEA and a strong Ecuadorian economy, the report finds that last year U.S. businesses exported $5.5 billion in goods to Ecuador, an increase of 10% from 2010. According to the report, imports of Ecuadorian goods to the U.S. also increased approximately 30%, which has helped Ecuadorian companies increase minimum wages from $170/month in 2007 to $292/month in 2012. The USTR also recognizes that Ecuador has further curtailed the illegal practice of child labor– the number of children working illegally fell from 550,000 in 2001 to 367,000 in 2006.

Furthermore, we are also pleased with the report’s findings that Ecuador is not a drug-producing country, and that we continue to work closely with the U.S. and our neighbors to reduce the trafficking of illicit drugs. Yesterday, President Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia publicly thanked Ecuador’s efforts and cooperation with Colombia in its efforts to secure the north-south border, a key factor in reducing drug trafficking across the Americas.

Finally, the report affirms that Ecuador continues to meet all ATPDEA eligibility criteria, including that the government “continues to participate in pending international arbitration cases.” We are pleased that this finding validates Ecuador’s complete and total commitment to honoring its international obligations, despite attempts by independent interest groups to further their own personal interests by casting doubt on both this commitment and the mutually beneficial effects of the ATPDEA. Through the ATPDEA and other ongoing forms of bilateral and people-to-people cooperation between the U.S. and Ecuador, we look forward to continuing in our common efforts to make the Americas a strong, vibrant, and safe place.


ECUADOR MAINTAINS SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN LATIN AMERICA

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Embassy of Ecuador to the United States announced that the International Human Dimensions Programme of the United Nations University, together with the United Nations Environment Programme, published its biannual “Inclusive Wealth Report” about the sustainability of selected countries. The report analyzes 20 countries, 5 of which are Latin-American countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador), between 1990 and 2008.

In addition to the conventional production indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), the report introduces a new indicator, the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI), which seeks to measure the social value of fixed assets, incorporating manufactured, natural, health, and human capital.

Based on the IWI, Ecuador was ranked sixth overall and third at the Latin-American level, behind Chile and Brazil. The country maintains a sustainability whose production base will continue with similar levels of productivity for future generations. By being inferior to the IWI, the population growth, shows, on a per capita base, that Ecuador maintains sustainable growth since the population does not negatively affect the distribution of capital in the country. In relation to the region, Ecuador’s per capita IWI puts them in third place behind Chile and Brazil.

Referring to the average annual growth per capita of capital broken down by type, Ecuador focuses its growth more on manufactured capital and less on human capital and has a decline in the natural capital (consisting of pasture, arable land, forests, fisheries, fossil fuels, and minerals), overcome by Colombia and Venezuela.

The fact that 13 of the 20 countries in the study (including Ecuador) have increased their inclusive wealth and have decreased their annual natural capital per capita indicates that these states might be facing either a depletion of natural resources, population growth that exceeds the change of natural capital, or both. Natural capital tends to generate the accumulation of other fixed assets such as education, health, and manufactured capital, such that the study recommends the compensation of losses by investing in natural, renewable capital, as well as manufactured and human capital.

Another aspect to take into account is that the capital reserves of the 20 countries are not growing at the rate of their respective GDP’s. According to the report, if this tendency continues, there will be less capital to give back to the production system, consumption will exceed production, and, unless there are technological innovations, there will be a subsequent decline.

The report is a call to mankind to what is perceived as a mistake to conserve resources, preserve ecosystems, and assure their own existence. Therefore, the report is a sign of the need of a shift in the economic model paradigm to achieve sustainable global development.


ABOUT THE REQUEST OF JULIAN ASSANGE

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration has reported that today Mr. Julian Assange of Australian nationality, and residing in the UK, presented himself at the Embassy of Ecuador in London asking for government protection of Ecuador, arguing that due to a “regrettable effective statement of abandonment received from the authorities of my country, Australia, which state that they will not defend my minimum guarantees before any government and delegated to the constitution of a foreign country that applies the death penalty for the crime of espionage and treason, and the guarantees it offers to its nationals, ignoring their obligation to protect its citizen, who is persecuted politically. Such statements make it impossible for me to return to my home country and put me in a state of helplessness to be requested for questioning by the Kingdom of Sweden, where its top officials have openly attacked me, and investigated for political crimes in the United States of America, a country where the death penalty for such offenses is still in force. “

The Government of Ecuador is evaluating the request of Mr. Julian Assange and any decision on it will be taken into account respecting the rules and principles of International Law as well as the traditional Ecuadorian policy of safeguarding Human Rights.

The Foreign Ministry has officially informed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about this situation through the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom and the British Diplomatic Mission in Quito.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration


Is Ecuador’s Economic Policy a Non Neo-Liberal Alternative?

Monday, June 18th, 2012


Source: The Real News


SIGNING OF AGREEMENTS TO PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF ECUADORIAN WORKERS

Monday, June 11th, 2012

This morning, Ambassador of Ecuador in Washington, Nathalie Cely, and Secretary of Labor of the United States, Hilda Solis signed an agreement whereby they will work together to promote the training of Ecuadorian workers on labor laws and practices in the U.S.

Also, agreements with the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from the U.S. Department of Labor were signed. The purpose of these instruments is to make a joint and coordinated effort between the offices of the Department of Labor mentioned before and the Embassy and Consulates of Ecuador to the United States, to foster an environment that respects the rights of Ecuadorian workers to improve compliance with the obligations to the employer for the employee, regardless of their immigration status, and to train Ecuadorian immigrant workers in the United States on labor laws and regulations. These agreements seek to protect the rights of the workers, safety standards in the workplace and secure that a fair wage is paid.

After the signing ceremony there was a dialogue in which they exchanged ideas about the importance of these agreements for Ecuadorian migrant workers and the impact on bilateral relations between the two countries. Finally, the Ambassador conveyed a message of hope to the Ecuadorian community that has immigrated to the United States and said she looks forward to continue working together with the Ecuadorian Consulates, to promote the full implementation of these agreements and reiterated her commitment and vocation service to the Ecuadorian immigrant communities.

Embassy of Ecuador
June 11, 2012