The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, estimated this Sunday that the negotiations for a free trade agreement with Mexico, with a view to joining the Pacific Alliance, are in a “Deadpoint”.
The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “He has told me that banana and shrimp producers in Mexico do not want Ecuadorian shrimp and plantains or bananas to enter (…) We are at an impasse”, Lasso said during an interview with a local journalist, released by the government.
Ecuador had warned in December that it would be “impossible” sign a free trade agreement with Mexico if that nation excludes shrimp and bananas, its main export products after oil, from tariff benefits.
Between January and October 2022, total sales of this fruit reached US$2.705 million, and of the crustacean, US$6.274 million, according to the Ecuadorian central bank.
Lasso considered that “It’s not that bad” not having a trade agreement with Mexico, despite the fact that it is one of the conditions for the country to join the Pacific Alliance, a bloc also made up of Colombia, Chile and Peru.
“The interest in the Pacific Alliance was the entry of Ecuador in order to have access to Asian markets. Today we are doing it directly”, expressed Lasso, referring to the fact that his country completed the negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
The FTA with Beijing is expected to be signed once the formalities are completed, in the next four months.
Lasso seeks to expand Ecuador’s trade relations, which is why it is promoting negotiations with South Korea, Canada, Costa Rica and the United States, one of its main trading partners.
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